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Kobe_No_Means_No

2013-2014 Playoffs NBA Finals Game Thread

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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.

Edited by TheOneAboveAll
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he couldn't lead cleveland to a title? have you seen what happened to cleveland after lbj left them? they became the worst team in the league. the 2nd best player for cleveland that time- none other than mo williams. that speaks for itself.

and lastly, you say why didn't he just invite wade and bosh to sign with him in cleveland? because cleveland didn't have the cap space. jeez. cleveland was over the cap and all they could do was re-sign lbj and nothing else.

I think the bit about the roster is sensible... The supporting cast wasn't there.. No second big scorer/threat. A winding down Jamison.. Wasn't enough e.g. against the depth of Spurs. Why wasn't Cleveland able to build a better team during his time there btw? Just bad management?

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Yea, I've seen it happen to friends.. it looks so painful. I feel really bad for Lebron, you can tell by his post game comments that it hurt him to be unable to help his teammates during that stretch. Just horrible timing, circumstances. Manu and Parker commented that they were used to that kind of heat while playing overseas... Obviously, it hurt the Heat big time to be without Lebron on the floor, plus the effect on their psyche to see Lebron limping to the bench, but still, the Heat had some huge blunders during the end of that game...They could've closed it out much better, and they need to address a few things, such as their pick-and-roll coverage on Duncan/Splitter... way too easy. The Spurs may have turned it over 22 times, but they helped their cause by shooting lights out all game long.. The Heat need to clean up a few things for Game 2, and they're known to bounce back well.

This is what I mean. Making excuses for Lebron. There were 18 players last night and only ONE had cramps because of the heat. Did he ever not play street basketball in the summer? I don't think people play street basketball in an air conditioned setting.

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Lebron's at a disadvantage in heat because of his level of lean muscle mass."

Well, that kind of explains why Boris Diaw's playing like a beast right?

Ha, ha, ha. Well done. It could have gotten as hot as the sun in there and Boris would be okay.

The last 3 words of that quote said LEAN MUSCLE MASS. Only "MASS" identifies with Diaw.

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Yea, I've seen it happen to friends.. it looks so painful. I feel really bad for Lebron, you can tell by his post game comments that it hurt him to be unable to help his teammates during that stretch. Just horrible timing, circumstances. Manu and Parker commented that they were used to that kind of heat while playing overseas... Obviously, it hurt the Heat big time to be without Lebron on the floor, plus the effect on their psyche to see Lebron limping to the bench, but still, the Heat had some huge blunders during the end of that game...They could've closed it out much better, and they need to address a few things, such as their pick-and-roll coverage on Duncan/Splitter... way too easy. The Spurs may have turned it over 22 times, but they helped their cause by shooting lights out all game long.. The Heat need to clean up a few things for Game 2, and they're known to bounce back well.

This is what I mean. Making excuses for Lebron. There were 18 players last night and only ONE had cramps because of the heat. Did he ever not play street basketball in the summer? I don't think people play street basketball in an air conditioned setting.

I don't understand your point. What are you trying to say? That Lebron has some defective genetic disorder that makes him cramp? That he mentally couldn't get over a strictly physical issue that wouldn't let him play? That it's not clutch to have muscle problems? In retrospect, maybe the Heat trainers should have given him an IV at half and kept on him about hydrating but beyond that, what's the point? It seems like just bad luck to me and nothing to do with his basketball skills.

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he couldn't lead cleveland to a title? have you seen what happened to cleveland after lbj left them? they became the worst team in the league. the 2nd best player for cleveland that time- none other than mo williams. that speaks for itself.

and lastly, you say why didn't he just invite wade and bosh to sign with him in cleveland? because cleveland didn't have the cap space. jeez. cleveland was over the cap and all they could do was re-sign lbj and nothing else.

I think the bit about the roster is sensible... The supporting cast wasn't there.. No second big scorer/threat. A winding down Jamison.. Wasn't enough e.g. against the depth of Spurs. Why wasn't Cleveland able to build a better team during his time there btw? Just bad management?

Here is my take on that. Did Lebron have a perfect roster? No. Did he play with talented players? Yes. Antwann Jamison was a very good player back then. Varejo is a good player. So was Ilgauskas. He had Shaq. He had Mo Williams.

The problem I have with Lebron is that he should have done what Dwanye Wade did. He should of recruited Wade and Bosh. That is what a leader does. Jordan would have recruited a player to Chicago, Bird would of recruited a player to the Celtic. Magic players to the Lakers. Isiah players to the Pistons. Instead Lebron quit on his team.

Why is it Wade was able to recruit all these players to the Heat but Lebron has ZERO pull on bringing players to the Cavs?

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Yea, I've seen it happen to friends.. it looks so painful. I feel really bad for Lebron, you can tell by his post game comments that it hurt him to be unable to help his teammates during that stretch. Just horrible timing, circumstances. Manu and Parker commented that they were used to that kind of heat while playing overseas... Obviously, it hurt the Heat big time to be without Lebron on the floor, plus the effect on their psyche to see Lebron limping to the bench, but still, the Heat had some huge blunders during the end of that game...They could've closed it out much better, and they need to address a few things, such as their pick-and-roll coverage on Duncan/Splitter... way too easy. The Spurs may have turned it over 22 times, but they helped their cause by shooting lights out all game long.. The Heat need to clean up a few things for Game 2, and they're known to bounce back well.

This is what I mean. Making excuses for Lebron. There were 18 players last night and only ONE had cramps because of the heat. Did he ever not play street basketball in the summer? I don't think people play street basketball in an air conditioned setting.

I don't understand your point. What are you trying to say? That Lebron has some defective genetic disorder that makes him cramp? That he mentally couldn't get over a strictly physical issue that wouldn't let him play? That it's not clutch to have muscle problems? In retrospect, maybe the Heat trainers should have given him an IV at half and kept on him about hydrating but beyond that, what's the point? It seems like just bad luck to me and nothing to do with his basketball skills.

Actually Lebron does have a history of cramps, but what I am saying is people saying that it was the temps of the arena that worked against Lebron. Every player had the same disadvantage.

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he couldn't lead cleveland to a title? have you seen what happened to cleveland after lbj left them? they became the worst team in the league. the 2nd best player for cleveland that time- none other than mo williams. that speaks for itself.

and lastly, you say why didn't he just invite wade and bosh to sign with him in cleveland? because cleveland didn't have the cap space. jeez. cleveland was over the cap and all they could do was re-sign lbj and nothing else.

I think the bit about the roster is sensible... The supporting cast wasn't there.. No second big scorer/threat. A winding down Jamison.. Wasn't enough e.g. against the depth of Spurs. Why wasn't Cleveland able to build a better team during his time there btw? Just bad management?

Here is my take on that. Did Lebron have a perfect roster? No. Did he play with talented players? Yes. Antwann Jamison was a very good player back then. Varejo is a good player. So was Ilgauskas. He had Shaq. He had Mo Williams.

The problem I have with Lebron is that he should have done what Dwanye Wade did. He should of recruited Wade and Bosh. That is what a leader does. Jordan would have recruited a player to Chicago, Bird would of recruited a player to the Celtic. Magic players to the Lakers. Isiah players to the Pistons. Instead Lebron quit on his team.

Why is it Wade was able to recruit all these players to the Heat but Lebron has ZERO pull on bringing players to the Cavs?

He did recruit both but specifically Bosh to Cleveland thinking if Bosh came then Wade would follow. Bosh didn't want to go to another cold weather city (He's from Dallas). Wade didn't want to leave South Beach, so when Bosh decided to go to Miami, it was a done deal. Lebron weighed his options for a day or so and ultimately decided to join them in Miami. Basically, Bosh was the fulcrum and he decided that South Beach > Mistake by the Lake. Blame Bosh, I guess....

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Spurs won. LeBron and the Heat were unfortunate, but can't make any excuses. The team that is more determined to win knows that they should be playing at the same level of intensity as if every game was game 7, I didn't see that in the Heat (and arguably the Spurs either). Let's move onto game 2.

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Yea, I've seen it happen to friends.. it looks so painful. I feel really bad for Lebron, you can tell by his post game comments that it hurt him to be unable to help his teammates during that stretch. Just horrible timing, circumstances. Manu and Parker commented that they were used to that kind of heat while playing overseas... Obviously, it hurt the Heat big time to be without Lebron on the floor, plus the effect on their psyche to see Lebron limping to the bench, but still, the Heat had some huge blunders during the end of that game...They could've closed it out much better, and they need to address a few things, such as their pick-and-roll coverage on Duncan/Splitter... way too easy. The Spurs may have turned it over 22 times, but they helped their cause by shooting lights out all game long.. The Heat need to clean up a few things for Game 2, and they're known to bounce back well.

This is what I mean. Making excuses for Lebron. There were 18 players last night and only ONE had cramps because of the heat. Did he ever not play street basketball in the summer? I don't think people play street basketball in an air conditioned setting.

I don't understand your point. What are you trying to say? That Lebron has some defective genetic disorder that makes him cramp? That he mentally couldn't get over a strictly physical issue that wouldn't let him play? That it's not clutch to have muscle problems? In retrospect, maybe the Heat trainers should have given him an IV at half and kept on him about hydrating but beyond that, what's the point? It seems like just bad luck to me and nothing to do with his basketball skills.

Actually Lebron does have a history of cramps, but what I am saying is people saying that it was the temps of the arena that worked against Lebron. Every player had the same disadvantage.

Not sure I see a lot of folks outwardly blaming the circumstances as if they were created unfairly. It was bad luck. If he stepped on someone's foot with 4 minutes left and couldn't get his ankle right for the rest of the game, is that somehow more palatable? Environment was what it was. It was unfortunate, mainly for the fans, but I think everyone understands that cramps are a physical ailment that can affect almost anyone. Just like someone getting a cold or turning an ankle. Stuff happens. It's unfortunate but it's not anyone's fault per say.

Again, I guess you can maybe say the trainer should have been more proactive but I doubt he was taking salt tablets and refusing water. I will say that when he went out, I didn't see anyone working on him. That was strange. Usually you see someone massaging and stretching the muscle and making you drink copious amounts of fluids. I didn't really see that and it was a bit weird. That's not on Lebron though.

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Marcellus Wiley@marcelluswileyFollow

"I played w/a broken toe b4, but couldn't even stand up w/cramps. Lebron's at a disadvantage in heat because of his level of lean muscle mass."

I've gotten cramps in my calves in my sleep like LeBron did on the floor. It's pretty damn crippling when it's happening. I'll say that.

Same here, and they are the absolute worst. I guess I've been fortunate in my life but it's one of the most painful things I've had happen to me. You can't really move and the pain is awful. It even hurts through most of the day and causes limping if the cramps were bad enough. Way too much criticism on Lebron for getting those cramps and not playing through them, I don't think it would be possible.

Edited by megamoviejohn
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Obviously Magic didn't need to sign with multiple superstars as a FA, the Lakers already had a bunch of stars.

They got Kareem because he demanded a trade out of Milwaukee and would accept only the Lakers and Knicks as destinations.

They got Magic (#1 overall) because the New Orleans Jazz signed Gail Goodrich as a FA, had to give the lakers their 1st as compensation, then finished with the league's worst record.

They got Worthy (#1 overall) because the Cavaliers' stupid owner, Ted Stepien, traded their first rounder for Don Ford, then the Cavs finished with the worst record in the league. The Lakers won a coin flip for the top spot. The NBA ended up making a rules change because Stepien had made so many short-sighted, dumb trades that his team was screwed for half a decade.

So yeah, if you don't take advantage of the stupidity/incompetence of other teams, or benefit from being in a huge media market (which repeated itself with Shaq years later, and then Howard after that, fortunately the latter of which didn't work out at all), then I guess you need to go slumming by agreeing with other stars to play for the same team. How lowly. Things should be more like the 80s when half the teams had absolutely no clue what they were doing and you could just take advantage of them on a yearly basis.

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Joseph Goodman@JoeGoodmanJr

Spoelstra: "He was burning through his fluids and calories at an extraordinary rate…He was taking cramping pills, electrolytes."

I was wondering how the Heat could be so ill-prepared. It seems they did have some Midol handy for when LeBron starts cramping up.

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History will only remember that the Heat won 2 rings and 4 straight Finals appearances (so far). Just like history only remembers the Bulls' dominance, with no mention that the Bulls began winning during the expansion era, when the talent pool was dispersed and the elite competition became watered down.

Sorry Heat homer. Every aspect of the Big 3 era championships in Miami will always be under the microscope—dissected and micro-analyzed—because of how it all came together. The disparity between east and west will be one of those asterisks.

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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.

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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.

I don't know why half the league has to make the playoffs anyway other than $$$.

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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?

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I think the league has pretty decent parity right now, it's just a fact that 7 game series make for fewer playoff upsets, and it's a strange coincidence that nearly all of the quality teams reside in the West, so the Heat end up having to win only one contentious series to win the championship, something that has realistically been true (sorry, I don't count an over the hill and shallow Boston team or the raw and undisciplined Pacers as truly legitimate competition) for the entirety of their dynasty.

History will only remember that the Heat won 2 rings and 4 straight Finals appearances (so far). Just like history only remembers the Bulls' dominance, with no mention that the Bulls began winning during the expansion era, when the talent pool was dispersed and the elite competition became watered down.

People forget that Jordan and the Bulls struggled for years to get past the Pistons and Celtics. They only remember who won in the end. After all, that is all that matters.

Edited by mbroo5880i
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