Mr. BASKETBALL NBA FINALS GAME 3 PREVIEW FRESH OFF THE INTERNET PRESSES
Mr. Basketball – It’s not difficult to understand that there are sports fans out there that want nothing more than to see Lebron James fail. They relish every loss and every mistake. What is difficult to understand is how many of those fans still exist, even after Lebron has proven beyond any doubt that he has the same intangible qualities as the greatest basketball players ever.
When he cramped up and couldn’t finish the final minutes of Game 1, the Lebron haters came out in full force. Some made fun of him simply because he’s fun to root against, and also because it was one of the rare times where Lebron appeared to be as mortal and susceptible to injury as anyone else. After all, who hasn’t had a cramp?
One important point that I didn’t think got enough attention was one made by ESPN’s Jemele Hill: she theorized that one of the primary reasons why Lebron was raked over the coals for sitting during the final minutes was because of the negative (gender-related) associations with cramping.
In any case, for most NBA fans, Lebron’s bounce back performance in Game 2 wasn’t a surprise. If anything, it would’ve been surprising if he hadn’t been superb. And yet the Spurs will fly to Miami shaking their heads and gritting their teeth. They had a chance to put Miami in their first 2-0 hole of the Heatles era, and they came up short because of four straight missed free throws (two by Tony Parker, two by Tim Duncan), and because of their inability to get into the paint late in the game.
If San Antonio is going to steal one of the next two games in Miami (which they have to do in order to have a chance in the series), they’ll have to attack the basket, draw fouls, and most importantly, make their free throws. Meanwhile, the Heat will hope to get better performances out of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. They too need to keep attacking the basket, particularly Chris Bosh (who had two absolutely vicious dunks, something we’ve rarely seen over the past four seasons).
I’m sticking with my pick of Spurs in seven, but they’ll need a monster game from either Parker or Ginobili to steal a game in Miami, and they need my favorite player in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard, to contribute more on the offensive end in addition to guarding Lebron.
The Heat have won 11 straight home playoff games (dating back to Game 1 of last year’s finals). By winning Game 2 they also extended their streak of not losing back-to-back playoff games to 47. The last team to beat the Heat in consecutive playoff games? The Boston Celtics, who won three straight in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals (Celtic Pride!!)
I’ve always considered a seven game series to have three acts; the first act of these NBA Finals is over. I hope the second one is even better.
“Yeah, we’ll probably lose a heart breaker 7 game series.. And cry in the tunnel.. Because I’m a huge pussybaby.. Oh and I’ve balded more in the last year.. It’s whatever, I’ll probs try to hide it with a douchey headband ..” – LeBron