Instant Classic: Heat Force Game 7

I just ‘Witnessed’ (see what I did there) one of the greatest NBA Finals basketball games of all-time. The Miami Heat needed overtime and some miracles to force Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs. If you didn’t see the game, here is what you missed:

    • Tim Duncan found the fountain of youth, scoring 25 points in the first half. He wasn’t missing for most of the half, no matter what shot he was taking. Father time remains undefeated as the Heat were able to shut him down in the second half and overtime. He finished with a solid 30p-17r stat line
    • Danny Green is human. He went just 1-for-5 from three and scored only 3 points in the game. You can end the MVP talks, even if the Spurs win the series on Thursday.
    • Manu Ginobili was back at the level expected based on the way his postseason has been going. He had only 9 points and he committed 8 turnovers.
    • Kawhi Leonard is going to have a bright future, but the bright lights of clinching the NBA Finals proved to be too much. He was outstanding with 22 points and 11 rebounds along with solid defense, but all people will remember is that he missed the clinching free-throw with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
    • Ray Allen is as clutch as they come. Off of an offensive rebound by Chris Bosh, Allen raised up and nailed the game-tying three pointer with 5 seconds to go in regulation.
    • Chris Bosh may not have had the prettiest stat line (10p-11r-2bs), but his impact with hustle was huge. His key offensive rebound set-up Allen’s three and he blocked the Spurs final two shots in overtime to clinch the win
    • LeBron James is the most polarizing player in the NBA. He posted his 4th career NBA Finals Triple-Double (32p-11a-10r). He had a very poor first three quarters, but he came out dominating the fourth quarter and single-handedly brought the Heat back from 10 points down to start the quarter. But he had a costly turnover that should have lost the game (see Leonard’s missed free-throw), but he hit a clutch three-pointer to bring the game within two points, but he bricked the attempted tying three (see Ray Allen for saving him). People love to hate him and this game brought out the best and worst qualities of his game.
    • This game will be known as the headband game because of LeBron James. After losing his headband in the fourth quarter, he had a monster block of Tim Duncan and he finished the game with no headband.
    • NBA conspiracy theorists will never let this game go. Two controversial non-calls in favor of the Heat in Overtime allowed them to come away with the win. First, Manu Ginobili was “fouled” driving down the lane with under a minute remaining. I like the non-call because he took a bus through the lane. If any call should have been made it was a travel. He initiated the contact with the extra steps so I’m glad the refs let them play through it. Second, most people think that Danny Green was fouled by Chris Bosh attempting the tying three pointer at the buzzer in OT. Again, I like the no call because Green took a rushed fade-away heave. The fade action made it appear like there was more contact than there actually was. Bosh shouldn’t have been so risky to be in the position that a foul could have been called though. To all the conspiracy theorists, it’s simple – if the Spurs hit there free throws down the stretch, they win. They have no-one to blame but themselves.
    • Oh, who needs sneakers anyway? Mike Miller certainly doesn’t to nail a clutch three-pointer

Let’s just say, I can’t wait for Game 7 on Thursday night. This series has been anything but predictable, so I won’t even go there. No team has won two games in a row, can the Heat be the first? I’m sticking with my original predication before the Finals started and saying they can and will.

[Cover Photo Credit: Joe Murphy/NBAE /Getty Images via Sports Illustrated]

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