By: Kristopher Colley, Ruling Sports Intern
Not showing up has been the consistent theme of the 2013 NBA Finals thus far. The disappearing act performed by both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in the Eastern Conference Finals has made them as irrelevant as they have ever been. The days of LeBron James scoring 30-plus points have vanished, Tony Parker has been in-and-out with a minor injury, and Manu Ginobili has not frequently played well.
This means that the unusual suspects have had to step up and take control of the series. In Game 3, Tuesday night, Spurs role players Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 51 points. The Spurs also connected on 16 three-pointers, which is a new Finals record. Once the Spurs shooters get going, they are difficult to stop; the Spurs were a 38% three-point shooting team during the season, and when they hit, they become very dangerous.
Game 3 was the first game of three games to be held in San Antonio, where the Spurs won 35 games this season. If the Heat plan on stealing a game outside of their home court, like San Antonio did, it will take a lot of momentum by their star players. James must have one of his superstar games. James has yet to have a 20-point game. If the Heat are going to have any chance at winning, that chance goes through him, like it has throughout the season.
Like the Spurs in the Game 2, the Heat failed to execute on their game plan and got routed because of it. If Miami plans to bounce back they have to once again play their game. Eleven fast break points is not Miami basketball. The Heat needs to get back to the customary high-octane, high-flying, energetic basketball that the team is known for.
Games 2 and 3 have been blowouts for both teams. Many experts predicted that this would be a close series, lasting either six or seven games. Save for the length of the series, it the series overall has not been close nor exciting except for Game 1. Yet, the one thing that has come to be expected in the Finals, is the unexpected. And in Game 4, it can be expected that fans will see even more unexpected surprises arise, as how Parker plays with a reported hamstring injury and what change-ups Heat coach Erik Spoelstra executes will likely determine the outcome of the game.