These Finals are now best of 3 games. Each team won on their court. Each team lost on their court. Each team won and lost on the road. Each team had good and bad games. Game 4 was a good game for Miami, not so good for the Spurs. Spoelstra made a brilliant adjustment starting Mike Miller instead of Haslem. Really, who could see that happen? In response, Pop put Splitter on Wade. A brilliant move by all accounts, which unfortunately didn't quite work as intended. Everyone blames Splitter now, and for a good reason. How dares he being unable to defend Wade?
Anyway, this is not what I wanted to write about. So far, this series was very predictable.
game 1: Miami lost game 1 to Chicago and almost lost to Indiana. The Spurs won every game 1 in his previous three series of 2013. So it comes as no huge surprise that the Spurs won game 1 at Miami. Good win nevertheless, it gave us some hope for the series.
game 2: Miami bounced back after every loss in last several moths. They bounced back after the loss of game 1. Nobody should be too surprised.
game 3: The Spurs have proven themselves in game 3. It should have been expected that they'd bounce back after bad game 2. Nobody could quite predict Gary Neal and Danny Green to go berserk and blow Miami out of the game with their shooting. It was very very enjoyable.
game 4: We are getting back to Spoelstra's adjustments now. Facing a must-win game (nobody wants to be 1-3 in a series) he goes with a small ball against the Spurs. Let us now review how our players have fared in these Finals so far:
Duncan - I think, Bosh is a tough match up for him. Bosh plays like a small forward in a 7-feet-tall body. Tim is a great low post defender. He likes to stay in the paint and protect the basket. When Miami plays Bosh-LeBron-Miller in the frontcourt, Duncan has nobody to defend. Still, he is our best big. This is a problem.
Splitter - He can be useful against two big men, like in Memphis series. Miami makes him look bad, just like OKC did last year. I kept saying that the Heat is just OKC on steroids, and even though we are better team this year, we now run in the same problems we faced in WCF last year.
Leonard and Green: They have been playing great. If we have any hope, these two are our best hope.
Parker: His injury in game 3 didn't help him to play like MVP. He has been OK, but not spectacular in this series.
Neal: He was an X-factor for us in game 3 win, and has been solid in other games as well. Good job.
Manu: He has been as bad as Neal has been good. If we lose this series, he'll be blamed, whether justly or not.
So, now we are facing game 5, which is the first real must-win game for us. If we lose, the series is pretty much over. If we win however, we'll face a dilemma of winning one of two remaining games, both at Miami. So, how can we do it?
I seen game 6 as a scheduled loss even before the series started. I still see it as a scheduled loss. It would be elimination game for Miami, but not for us. It is played at Miami after 1 day of rest. So far the Heat did everything they were supposed to do. I don't see them losing game 6. I think, we have a chance in game 6 if we surprise them. Pop rested Big 3 for the game at Miami before, he should do it again. Start Blair and DeColo, it would be the ultimate elimination game for those guys, so they'll leave everything they got on the floor. At the same time Miami's stars are proud. When they are challenged, they play their best. But I doubt they can play with the same motivation and energy against the Spurs team lacking Big 3. So even if Miami would have a huge talent advantage, they may have a disadvantage in energy. It can only work for one game, and it worked for Chicago in game 1 of their series. It may or may not work for us, but if it does, it would be a great story. And if it doesn't, we'll play game 7 with rested and very angry Big 3. There is no way the Big 3 would be happy to miss game 6, and this anger should push them overboard. This is the idea anyway, something that never been done before, something that no other coach in the NBA would dare to do. I doubt even Pop would dare to do it, but it would certainly add some spice to these Finals. On the other hand, it certainly won't be popular with anyone, and Stern will be pissed again.
So what do you think? Tell us what you think in the poll and comments below.