Well, if you didn't know the backstory for this one, where have you been? Pop decided to send Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Danny Green home before the game began. This shook the Twitterverse something fierce. Oh and David Stern might have promised "SUBSTANTIAL SANCTIONS".
So....................with that... Patty Mills, Nando de Colo, Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter started against the defending world champs. And after the first quarter, the Spurs bench continues to be effective.
Charles Barkley interviewed Coach Pop:
CB: "Coach you gotta be very happy with the play with the guys off the bench"
Pop: "I think we played well in transition and we made shots"
CB: "Do you like the pace of the game?"
Pop: "We have to play a good pace"
CB: "What about--"
Pop: "Thats your 3rd question dont you only get 2?"
Midway through the second, and with six of the Spurs key guys out, the ball movement remains the same -- more or less. Patty Mills is 2-6 FG with 4 points in 8 minutes -- he seems to be really pushing the offense and shooting whenever he's open. A flurry of turnovers late in the quarter are like giving the Heat free points. Spurs did not close that quarter well at all with turnovers and badly missed shots.
The Spurs bench/staters coming out in the 3rd quarter a little sloppy on the defensive end allowing easy shots for Miami. When Tiago Splitter gets the ball down low he's been very effective against Chris Bosh. I wish they would get Tiago more touches. Gary Neal looking GREAT tonight 15 points on tough looks. The guys doing a great job working with what they have. James Anderson showing life getting great looks. Tiago Splitter getting the looks I so badly requested. Down the stretch, Spurs couldn't come up with a good play up 1 less than a minute to go. LeBron nearly turns it over and finds Ray Allen open for 3, which he makes. Spurs down 98-100 with 23 seconds to go. Gary Neal turned it over, Spurs foul. LeBron makes 1 of 2 FT's. Spurs down 98-101 with 20 seconds to go. A missed shot by Patty Mills, recovery by Tiago Splitter who was fouled under the rim. He makes both free throws, but it was in haste. Spurs bench couldn't pull this one out.
Please read Pounding the Rock's full game recap here.