See what happens when air conditioning is working correctly? No cramps from LeBron James & the chance for him to be superman, has he was in the Miami Heat 98-96 victory in game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Spurs.
James went off for 35 points, with 33 coming after the first quarter, when he only had 2 points on 1-4 shooting. In the second quarter of the game when the Spurs had gone up 11 points, LeBron started defending Tony Parker, guard of the Spurs, & made sure Parker couldn’t start getting to the basket & took out the ability to get the ball to Duncan, Ginobili, & Leonard on a consistent basis. Parker had 21 points & 7 assists, but was ineffective towards the end of the game.
The biggest change for the Spurs from game 1 was that the red-hot shooting in game 1 went away in game 2, basically because of LeBron’s defense & presence on the court to guard the perimeter all the way around. Now, the Heat overall were inspired by the urgency to win game 2, which showed that not only James was being more aggressive going to the basket, but Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade & Rashard Lewis were far more aggressive on the offensive end & took the game to the Spurs as opposed to the Heat waiting for the game to just come to them.
For game 3, the big question will be whether the Heat will be able to continue to block the ability to get to the paint & stop the kick outs to Danny Green & Kawhi Leonard for the 3-point shots.
From the Spurs side, the defense they played on LeBron was as strong as it could be, however, James made sure to play like a superstar. The Spurs played a strong game all-around, but they missed 4 straight free-throws at the end of the game, which killed the Spurs chances of winning.
All that the Spurs have to do is continue to work to put pressure on the Heat defense on the perimeter & make sure that Tim Duncan is able to work down-low against Chris Bosh & Udonis Haslem. Duncan had 18 points & 15 rebounds, & will need to repeat that performance in Game 3 to keep the Heat big men honest & not want to go out to the perimenter & help on the guards. Parker has to find a way to go back to being offensive in a non-shooting capacity & Manu Ginobili has to get back to playing Ginobili ball, with the threat of Wade, Norris Cole & Mario Chalmers having a crack at Ginobili on a regular basis.
Game 3 is Tuesday night at 9:00 on ABC.