Monday, June 10, 2013
Heat Win Leaves Unanswered Questions
Dropping the first game in a series should be no big deal for the Miami Heat. They did it against the Bulls. Were it not for a buzzer-beater by LeBron James, they would have done it against the Pacers, and they handed away the next game anyway. Yet, something felt different about San Antonio's tenacious effort in Thursday night's Game 1, causing Heat-bashers to sit up and take notice. The Spurs are not the Bulls or the Pacers. Gun-to-gun, they've been an elite team this year, and maybe this series would be different.
Any question about Miami struggling against the Spurs and closing its second title in as many years may have been answered definitively last night, as the Heat used a 23-3 run beginning late in the third period to blow open a nip-and-tuck affair and tie the NBA Finals at a game apiece with a 103-84 win over San Antonio.
Nevertheless, in watching the entire ABC broadcast, I was still came away with 20 questions. For starters, why didn't Bill Simmons have to submit a demo before he got his panel gig? He is much better in print than in person.
And how did Chris "Birdman" Anderson ever go ten months without getting into a single game? This guy can still bring it, and has helped Miami rebuild its inside presence with 4.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 15 minutes per game since joining the Heat in January. I still don't know why he thought tattooing 'Free Bird' up his neck would ever be a good idea.
Does anyone else think the coordinated sea of white worn by Heat fans is the coolest crowd gimmick since the wave?
Should I have known who Jesse Williams is without having Googled him? And should I have been impressed with his behind-the-scenes cell phone photos? Because I didn't, and I wasn't.
How come LeBron James' mom gets to stand in the tunnel waiting for him to come off the court at halftime?
What is the accepted reaction to verbal filler like Jeff Van Gundy's tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the Spurs should kiss away the naming rights fees they collect from AT&T in order to call their arena the Tim Duncan Center? Even in jest, this kind of thing always makes me think, what an idiotic idea.
What happens to Dwyane Wade at halftime? Following first halves of 13 and 10 points in Games 1 and 2, he finished with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
With all the histrionics after a LeBron foul, why would any official ever call him for one? And why do the make-up calls to appease him have to be such a bitch? Case in point: after picking up a debatable foul on Tim Duncan before halftime, his third-quarter charge against Gary Neal was called the other way, putting James on the line to extend the lead at a time when Miami was first beginning to pull away.
How does Tiago Splitter ever get a shot off at this level? LeBron's block of his dunk attempt down the lane was a thing of beauty, but Splitter's release time is longer than the half-life of uranium.
Did Gregg Popovich suddenly forget how to form a 'T' with two hands? Even after the Heat closed out the third quarter with a 14-3 run, he allowed an 8-0 start over the first three minutes of the fourth, which earned him kudos from the broadcast booth for having a Phil Jackson-like understanding of when to let players figure things out on their own.
Is the floor at American Airlines Arena made of ice? Tony Parker was on it so much you'd think he plays for the Montreal Canadiens. Even on an uncontested air ball he still landed on his back. Learn to skate, dude.
Are we really so busy that we need flow cans to cut down the time it takes to pour 12 ounces of Miller Lite into a mug?
Do the Heat really need so many designated shooters? With Mike Ray Allen and Mike Miller a combined 8-for-11, Shane Battier didn't get in until garage time. I guess there's not much market for a left corner 3-point specialist.
Is Matt Bonner right- or left-handed? His shot looks terrible from either hand.
During a bad night from the floor for James, ABC decided it was time to focus on some of his other skills. So, where does LeBron rank on your all-time list of pick-setters? We know Magic Johnson has him at the top of his.
Was allowing Erik Spoelstra to be miked up a good move if you're the Miami Heat front office? His locker room and sidelines motivational speeches don't exactly conjure visions of Herb Brooks.
Did I just hear that correctly? Spoelstra was favorably compared to Popovich because the latter has never been able to take a team to the NBA Finals in three consecutive years. By that standard, shouldn't Marv Levy be the greatest coach in NFL history?
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