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Kobe_No_Means_No

2013-2014 Playoffs NBA Finals Game Thread

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I wonder if LeBron has consulted some of the WNBA stars to ask them how they play through cramps.

Even though this is a lame attempt for a joke, you can't play through a cramp.

Miami Heat let this one slip away, no excuses. The Heat should've still held on, despite the cramping for Lebron, but the Spurs got hot at the right time. Good game, onwards to Game 2.

That's the issue. Where were Wade, Bosh, and Allen?

It's not that the Heat was absent in the 4th quarter, the Spurs were just shooting at such a ridiculous rate, making the the Heat invisible. Spurs shot an insane 87.5% FG (14-16), with 6-6 FG coming from 3pt. As StreetCred said, Spurs just got hot at the right time to close out the game, the game was a close run until the end of the 4th quarter.

Also, neither team played well in this game. Heat allowed Spurs' bigs Duncan and Splitter a combined total 14-16 FG. While the Spurs turned over the ball 22 times. Spurs outrebounded the Heat by 10 rebounds. Spurs controlled the paint throughout the whole game. Heat allowed Diaw 10 rebounds, which is also unacceptable.

Edited by Eternal
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I wonder if LeBron has consulted some of the WNBA stars to ask them how they play through cramps.

Even though this is a lame attempt for a joke, you can't play through a cramp.

Miami Heat let this one slip away, no excuses. The Heat should've still held on, despite the cramping for Lebron, but the Spurs got hot at the right time. Good game, onwards to Game 2.

That's the issue. Where were Wade, Bosh, and Allen?

It's not that the Heat was absent in the 4th quarter, the Spurs were just shooting at such a ridiculous rate, making the the Heat invisible. Spurs shot an insane 87.5% FG (14-16), with 6-6 FG coming from 3pt. As StreetCred said, Spurs just got hot at the right time to close out the game, the game was a close run until the end of the 4th quarter.

Also, neither team played well in this game. Heat allowed Spurs' bigs Duncan and Splitter a combined total 14-16 FG. While the Spurs turned over the ball 22 times. Spurs outrebounded the Heat by 10 rebounds. Spurs controlled the paint throughout the whole game. Heat allowed Diaw 10 rebounds, which is also unacceptable.

The Heat regularly gets outrebounded (30th in the league) so it's not shocking that this happened. They're worse than last year. 10 is a bit much but if they lost the rebounding battle by 4-7 rebounds by average, that wouldn't be shocking.

Miami definitely struggled in controlling the Spurs big guys (their defense sort of sets up this way) and the Spurs struggled vs the Heat shooters. They left Ray Allen open for at least half a dozen open 3's. That's ridiculous. Really, the first half was more what was expected b/w the teams except for a 4 minute stretch where the Spurs turned the ball over 4 of 6 possessions. Still, the game was well contested but the Spurs were up by 5 at half.

Then the 3rd quarter where the Spurs turned the ball over 9 times. One of their poorer quarters of the playoffs. Now, when you play the Heat you understand that they live in the passing lanes and you get you'll have some turnovers but around 8-9 of the turnovers were unforced TO's. Just simple plays that they inexplicably threw away. Not crazy close outs just dumb plays. I think Pop would take 15 turnovers or less with 12 being the good O/U. Also the Spurs shot terrible in the 3rd. They were 1-9 outside of one foot. :lol: Think about how bad that is. At least 17 empty possessions. It's about as bad as one can play. Some of that was great Heat defense but a lot was terrible Spurs offense. It also bears watching that for whatever reason, the Spurs have been really bad in the 3rd in most of their playoff losses. Can't explain it, just one of those things.

4th quarter the Spurs started taking care of the ball and just got crazy hot. Sort of like the anti-thesis of the 3rd. Mix in Lebron missing half of the 4th including the last 4 minutes and it was over. One big hot streak, but all 3 games in San Antonio were like that last year from what I remember. All three were double digit affairs. I can't stress how strange a game this was. The Spurs shot great in the 4th but played sloppy overall. Heat got all the turnovers and transition points they needed as well as good games from the supporting cast excluding Chalmers but Lebron got cramps. Crazy game this basketball.

I'll leave a little analysis from Grantland and something to watch on both sides. First, Lebron had a +/- of 0. Which basically means that his team was -15 without him (his Roland). You can see how much the Heat rely on him. For the Spurs:

The Spurs’ most-used lineup in Game 1 was the one I featured in my preview: Parker, Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Diaw, and Duncan. That group outscored the Heat by 22 points in just eight minutes, and Gregg Popovich will likely use it more going forward; Leonard got in early foul trouble last night, and the stupid temperature issues screwed up everyone’s rotations.

Popovich quietly slid that lineup to the front of his cupboard this season. It logged just 58 minutes in the regular season last year, and just 33 in the playoffs — including a paltry four total minutes in the seven-game Finals against Miami, per NBA.com. Pop used that group for 193 minutes in this regular season, and it has already piled up 90 minutes over the playoffs. It features San Antonio’s two best defenders and two best ball handlers, and there is no safe place to hide Allen. The Spurs used it for twice as many minutes in Game 1 last night as they did in the entirety of last year’s Finals.

Expect to see that lineup more and more in the series....

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It's not that the Heat was absent in the 4th quarter, the Spurs were just shooting at such a ridiculous rate, making the the Heat invisible. Spurs shot an insane 87.5% FG (14-16), with 6-6 FG coming from 3pt. As StreetCred said, Spurs just got hot at the right time to close out the game, the game was a close run until the end of the 4th quarter.

Also, neither team played well in this game. Heat allowed Spurs' bigs Duncan and Splitter a combined total 14-16 FG. While the Spurs turned over the ball 22 times. Spurs outrebounded the Heat by 10 rebounds. Spurs controlled the paint throughout the whole game. Heat allowed Diaw 10 rebounds, which is also unacceptable.

Very true, especially the highlighted part of your response. Sometimes, you just can't stop your opponent no matter how hard you try.

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I agree that the Spurs will not shoot this well again, but at the same time you have to think that the Spurs will not turn the ball over 22 times again. As with the 3s, I am not really shocked that the Spurs hit many 3s because that has actually become a norm for them. Duncan and Splitter's high FG% are gonna go down though.

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I got a few people on Facebook bashing LeBron for not being able to play with severe leg cramps saying things like oh Jordan played with the "flu" and he would've sucked up cramps and played and blah blah. I said it earlier, but I battled cramps in my calves when I was younger and it's a pretty crippling pain. You can barely stand or walk, let alone run up and down the court and your muscles are usually sore for 24-48 hours after the cramps. I'll take the sides of actual athletes along with my own personal experiences with leg cramps over the ignorant.

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Edited by Doctor L
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Is it still a good idea for Pop to continue with the strategy of going under screens and daring Lebron to shoot jumpers? Might not work so well this time around, IMO. It worked the first 3 games of the Finals, partly due to the shock factor (of being left so wide open for the jumper), and Lebron's insistence to drive right into a packed defense. First 3 games, Lebron was 21-54 FGs (.389 FG%).

The last 4 games, Lebron shot 46-96 (.479 FG%). Still not his usual efficiency, but he was more prepared to take the open jumper, and then mix it up with paint attacks.

IMO, Pop can't do the same, exact game plan on Lebron. Yes, you'd like Lebron to settle for jumpers, but you can't just give him all day to set his feet and shoot.

Why? He's a worse jump shooter this year than last......

13-14':

16-23 feet: 37.6%

3 Pointer: 37.5%

12-13':

16-23 feet: 44.4%

3 Pointer: 39.7%

His shooting percentage at the rim is over 75% both years and this year it was close to 80%.

I just read this little debate. Here's an article that I think supports both your arguments.

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/ (scroll down to the June 6th entry titled "Spurs shoot their way to series lead"

LeBron James was far less aggressive attacking the basket in the second half. His average field goal distance in the first half was 5.2 feet. It dropped to 15.6 feet in the second half.

Dwyane Wade and James were a combined 2-6 in the paint in the second half. They went 9-13 in the first half.

Lebron's #'s from Game 1 last night:

Paint FG: 1st half = 4-7; 2nd half = 1-2

AVG FGA/Distance: 1st half = 5.2ft ; 2nd half = 15.6ft

Drives to the basket: 1st half = 7; 2nd half = 1

"When James was the pick-and-roll ball handler last NBA Finals, the Spurs went over the screen 58 percent of the time and under the screen 42 percent of the time. The Heat were almost equally efficient in either scenario."

"When the Spurs went under a James pick-and-roll, James shot more but as a team the Heat went 10-of-20 with 1.08 points per play."

"When the Spurs went over a James pick-and-roll, James passed more but as a team the Heat went 11-of-23 with 1.03 points per play."

"The Spurs were able to limit damage on James' drives last NBA Finals, holding him to 40 percent shooting on those plays. To put that into perspective, James shot 64 percent on drives this regular season and is shooting 69 percent this postseason, both according to NBA.com Player Tracking Data.

But giving James spaces to shoot didn’t work out as well as the Spurs may have planned, as he made 50 percent of his uncontested jumpers."

Interestingly enough, in the Finals last year, Lebron has the best success when he's being guarded by Kawhi and least effective against Boris Diaw but Diaw has the least amount of time guarding him.

What I take away from this is that the Spurs have to slow down the other guys in order to give themselves the best chance to win.

San Antonio did switch up how they defended the Lebron/Wade in Game 1 compared to last year’s Finals. They were more aggressive taking away space from LeBron and Wade, and they were going over picks, and not under. I guess my hunch was right.

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But it was a bad idea. I think they should go back to the same strategy as last year where they take the lane and have LeBron shoot jumpers all he wants. Just saying. Just beacause they won doesnt mean it was the right game-plan to go about stopping LeBron. LeBron went to the paint at will and you cant have him do that.You're not going to fully stop that guy but atleast make it hard for him to earn his points. Or you either sprinkle the 2 together; show em different looks and dont guard him the same way the whole game.

Edited by keep it ONE hunnid

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Is it still a good idea for Pop to continue with the strategy of going under screens and daring Lebron to shoot jumpers? Might not work so well this time around, IMO. It worked the first 3 games of the Finals, partly due to the shock factor (of being left so wide open for the jumper), and Lebron's insistence to drive right into a packed defense. First 3 games, Lebron was 21-54 FGs (.389 FG%).

The last 4 games, Lebron shot 46-96 (.479 FG%). Still not his usual efficiency, but he was more prepared to take the open jumper, and then mix it up with paint attacks.

IMO, Pop can't do the same, exact game plan on Lebron. Yes, you'd like Lebron to settle for jumpers, but you can't just give him all day to set his feet and shoot.

Why? He's a worse jump shooter this year than last......

13-14':

16-23 feet: 37.6%

3 Pointer: 37.5%

12-13':

16-23 feet: 44.4%

3 Pointer: 39.7%

His shooting percentage at the rim is over 75% both years and this year it was close to 80%.

I just read this little debate. Here's an article that I think supports both your arguments.

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/ (scroll down to the June 6th entry titled "Spurs shoot their way to series lead"

LeBron James was far less aggressive attacking the basket in the second half. His average field goal distance in the first half was 5.2 feet. It dropped to 15.6 feet in the second half.

Dwyane Wade and James were a combined 2-6 in the paint in the second half. They went 9-13 in the first half.

Lebron's #'s from Game 1 last night:

Paint FG: 1st half = 4-7; 2nd half = 1-2

AVG FGA/Distance: 1st half = 5.2ft ; 2nd half = 15.6ft

Drives to the basket: 1st half = 7; 2nd half = 1

"When James was the pick-and-roll ball handler last NBA Finals, the Spurs went over the screen 58 percent of the time and under the screen 42 percent of the time. The Heat were almost equally efficient in either scenario."

"When the Spurs went under a James pick-and-roll, James shot more but as a team the Heat went 10-of-20 with 1.08 points per play."

"When the Spurs went over a James pick-and-roll, James passed more but as a team the Heat went 11-of-23 with 1.03 points per play."

"The Spurs were able to limit damage on James' drives last NBA Finals, holding him to 40 percent shooting on those plays. To put that into perspective, James shot 64 percent on drives this regular season and is shooting 69 percent this postseason, both according to NBA.com Player Tracking Data.

But giving James spaces to shoot didn’t work out as well as the Spurs may have planned, as he made 50 percent of his uncontested jumpers."

Interestingly enough, in the Finals last year, Lebron has the best success when he's being guarded by Kawhi and least effective against Boris Diaw but Diaw has the least amount of time guarding him.

What I take away from this is that the Spurs have to slow down the other guys in order to give themselves the best chance to win.

San Antonio did switch up how they defended the Lebron/Wade in Game 1 compared to last year’s Finals. They were more aggressive taking away space from LeBron and Wade, and they were going over picks, and not under. I guess my hunch was right.

You realize those stats are from last year, right? They went over screens or picks 58% of the time. It pretty much disproves your "hunch" as they were varying their defense last year a lot more than you contended..... :lol: Keep patting yourself on the back though. Also that's specifically PNR defense and not ISO either.

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You realize those stats are from last year, right? They went over screens or picks 58% of the time. It pretty much disproves your "hunch" as they were varying their defense last year a lot more than you contended..... :lol: Keep patting yourself on the back though. Also that's specifically PNR defense and not ISO either.

My statement that the Spurs did change up their coverages against Lebron/Wade is based on this article:

http://www.nba.com/h...cap/tales-sauna

Edited by StreetCred

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@Patrick Bateman, notice this quote from @TheOneAboveAll's post:

"But giving James spaces to shoot didn’t work out as well as the Spurs may have planned, as he made 50 percent of his uncontested jumpers."

Like I said, giving James too much room to set and shoot gradually became less and less effective as last year's Finals progressed.

And from the link I provided, this is what Shane Battier had to say about last year's Finals:

“Their commitment to going under on pindowns (screens) was surprising,” Battier said before the series began. “They really committed to it to the point where [we were like], ‘You guys are really going under that down screen?’ [That’s] an area where most teams would have a faint heart to try and do that in a game, but they did it for pretty much the entire series.”

As Battier said above, the Spurs were going under screens at a surprising rate in last year's Finals.

Edited by StreetCred

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What do you want them to do shuffle up the east and west teams?

There are some pros and cons to this suggestion. Not to shuffle them up but to simply seed them 1 through 16 for playoff purposes. It brings up a lot of questions though. Do you get rid of divisions and conference then? Or simply just for the playoffs? That would still lead to inequity in the regular seasons. What about rivalries? The common argument is sports are cyclical and eventually the East will be tougher. The problem is they've been arguably waiting for that cycle to take hold for 20-25 years.....Certainly for the last 17.

The east owns 9/15 lottery picks in this loaded draft. The gap won't be as big in a few years.

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What do you want them to do shuffle up the east and west teams?

There are some pros and cons to this suggestion. Not to shuffle them up but to simply seed them 1 through 16 for playoff purposes. It brings up a lot of questions though. Do you get rid of divisions and conference then? Or simply just for the playoffs? That would still lead to inequity in the regular seasons. What about rivalries? The common argument is sports are cyclical and eventually the East will be tougher. The problem is they've been arguably waiting for that cycle to take hold for 20-25 years.....Certainly for the last 17.

The east owns 9/15 lottery picks in this loaded draft. The gap won't be as big in a few years.

If we look at the recent drafts on what side got most of the top draft picks:

2014 draft - East gets 4/5 of first 5 draft picks

2013 draft - East got 4/5

2012 draft - East got 4/5

2011 draft - East got 3/5

2010 draft - East got 3/5

Sure the West is beasting right now, but the future is in the East (or enough to balance the two conferences).

Edited by Eternal

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You realize those stats are from last year, right? They went over screens or picks 58% of the time. It pretty much disproves your "hunch" as they were varying their defense last year a lot more than you contended..... :lol: Keep patting yourself on the back though. Also that's specifically PNR defense and not ISO either.

My statement that the Spurs did change up their coverages against Lebron/Wade is based on this article:

http://www.nba.com/h...cap/tales-sauna

I'm not getting on this ride again with you. Just seems strange to try and pat yourself on the back for not being right in the first place. But if that helps you enjoy the series, then go for it.

I'm bummed there's not a game tonight. That sucks. I hate the NBA's playoff schedule.

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^ never bet a favorite doing something for the first time. He ran against fresh horses that never ran in Derby and Preakness.

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You realize those stats are from last year, right? They went over screens or picks 58% of the time. It pretty much disproves your "hunch" as they were varying their defense last year a lot more than you contended..... :lol: Keep patting yourself on the back though. Also that's specifically PNR defense and not ISO either.

My statement that the Spurs did change up their coverages against Lebron/Wade is based on this article:

http://www.nba.com/h...cap/tales-sauna

I'm not getting on this ride again with you. Just seems strange to try and pat yourself on the back for not being right in the first place. But if that helps you enjoy the series, then go for it.

I'm bummed there's not a game tonight. That sucks. I hate the NBA's playoff schedule.

@Patrick, but I wasn't wrong. You're just sour ;) The Spurs did change up their defense on Lebron. I said that they would, and they did. But you disagreed by assuredly saying, "why would they?!" Well, they did. At one point in the broadcast. even Jeff Van Gundy commented on how different the Spurs were playing Lebron. The article I linked (above) proves it even further. It's an interesting development, and I'm curious to see if the Spurs tweak it even more for Game 2, which I believe they will.

Edited by StreetCred

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We will see tomorrow but I think Lebron is going to have a chip on his shoulder with all of the sniping following Thursday's game. Would there have as much chatter if Wade or even Parker or Duncan left with cramps? He is an easy target because you either love him or hate him for reasons real or imagined.

The chatter makes things interesting. Now, it is time to play. I agree, what's with 3 days between games?

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You realize those stats are from last year, right? They went over screens or picks 58% of the time. It pretty much disproves your "hunch" as they were varying their defense last year a lot more than you contended..... :lol: Keep patting yourself on the back though. Also that's specifically PNR defense and not ISO either.

My statement that the Spurs did change up their coverages against Lebron/Wade is based on this article:

http://www.nba.com/h...cap/tales-sauna

I'm not getting on this ride again with you. Just seems strange to try and pat yourself on the back for not being right in the first place. But if that helps you enjoy the series, then go for it.

I'm bummed there's not a game tonight. That sucks. I hate the NBA's playoff schedule.

@Patrick, but I wasn't wrong. You're just sour ;) The Spurs did change up their defense on Lebron. I said that they would, and they did. But you disagreed by assuredly saying, "why would they?!" Well, they did. At one point in the broadcast. even Jeff Van Gundy commented on how different the Spurs were playing Lebron. The article I linked (above) proves it even further. It's an interesting development, and I'm curious to see if the Spurs tweak it even more for Game 2, which I believe they will.

No he did NOT. Now you're just lying.

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@keep it ONE hunnid, before you accuse someone of lying, please do your due diligence. Jeff Van Gundy did comment on how different the Spurs were playing Lebron.

Edited by StreetCred

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@keep it ONE hunnid, before you accuse someone of lying, please do your due diligence. Jeff Van Gundy did comment on how different the Spurs were playing Lebron.

I re-watched the game today on NBATV and I did not recall Van Gundy saying anything about how different the Spurs are guarding LeBron.

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@keep it ONE hunnid, before you accuse someone of lying, please do your due diligence. Jeff Van Gundy did comment on how different the Spurs were playing Lebron.

I re-watched the game today on NBATV and I did not recall Van Gundy saying anything about how different the Spurs are guarding LeBron.

Well, I don't know how attentive you were to the broadcast, but you definitely missed Van Gundy's comments. I will try to find the soundbite or transcript, but if anyone on this board can confirm what Van Gundy said, it would be much appreciated.

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The way I saw it, LeBron was mildly unaffected by the Spurs defense and made no haste in taking the open jumpers and driving in for the 1st half of the game. In the 2nd half he was a bit surprisingly passive, which I think is due to his legs "cramping up" before it gave in. He shot 8-14 FG, 2-3 FG from 3pt, and went to the line 3 times in the first three quarters. There wasn't really anything astonishingly unacceptable about his performance. He did play with extra vigor (prior to the cramp incidence), but nothing beyond his usual self, and the defense around him had little impact in actually succeeding to contain him.

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Yeah, I thought he played well until he started having cramping issues. I am not sure why every discussion in these forums has to result in someone accusing another poster of lying or ending up with personal attacks. There used to be rules against personal attacks. I guess those no longer apply.

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^ never bet a favorite doing something for the first time. He ran against fresh horses that never ran in Derby and Preakness.

The owner's rant after the race made me laugh. I totally understand his frustration, but that was an example of how not to handle a post-race interview. But yeah, the length of the Belmont makes it a completely different beast to tackle and I think that's why we've seen so many horses fail at the Triple Crown. The fresh horses were trained to run the longer distance so Triple Crown hopefuls are always at a disadvantage. It's like asking Lebron to compete in the 3-point contest. Sure, he may have a shot to win on a good day but the odds are strongly against him.

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