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June 09, 2013

Finals G2: Heat 103, Spurs 84: Miami wins big, ties series 1-1, because even LeBron's bad games are good games; plus Heat poll result, Marlins & more

1) It is MONDAY, JUNE 10. The Monday live blog chat remains on hiatus, today because we are off prior to our trip to San Antonio. Stay tuned for the chat's return. 2) Click Random Evidence for our latest Sunday notes column, leading with the Heat-Spurs Finals and the toll it exacts on fans. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat Game 1 loss, LeBron on NBA 2K14, Heat confidence-level poll, Marlins win in 20, Serena wins French, List: Big 3 vs. Big 3.

TWITTER@gregcoteINSTAGRAM: upsetbird. VINE: Greg Cote.

Click on LeBron: He's Good Even When He Isn't for my column off Heat's Series-tying Game 2 win last night.

FINALS G2: HEAT 103, SPURS 84: BALANCED OFFENSE, BIG D LIFT MIAMI: Mario Chalmers as the leading scorer with 19 points is not the common Heat recipe for success, but it works when you have seven players with 9 or more points and you play terrific defense, forcing 17 Spurs turnovers and allowing only 41 percent shooting. It also works when Mike Miller and Ray Allen are popping three 3's each. And it works when the combo of this balanced offense and great D are fashioning a 33-5 second-half run. LeBron James had only eight points on 3-for-13 shooting entering the fourth quarter but still managed to end up with 17 and create the game's most memorable play -- his emphatic fourth-quarter block of Tiago Splitter's attempted dunk. We are constantly reminded how great Le Bron is. Here's the latest reminder: LeBron's so great, even his bad games are good. (Watch for my column off the game online). ..... Original post: Miami is 4-4 in it past eight playoff games and 0-1 in the Finals heading into Sunday night's Game 2 here. Something isn't right, and we don't need an arcane bog of analytics or sabermetrics here to figure out what it is. Break it down to three men and bottom-line numbers. 1) 1aa1boshwadeDwyane Wade's regular season to playoff averages have cascaded from 52.1% shooting and 21.2 points to 44.8% and 14.3 points. 2) Chris Bosh's numbers have tumbled from 53.5% and 16.6 points to 44.9% and 12.3 points. 3) Shane Battier's 3-point accuracy has fallen in half, from 43.0% to a startling 21.9%. He is 14-for-64, one postseaeson after leading the NBA with 42-for-110. Battier's icy fingers can be compensated for if Ray Allen or Mike Miller (who has taken his minutes) are hitting, but Wade and Bosh together (pictured) are 11.2 points per game off their season averages -- and that's huge. In a sport, at a time of year, where just a few points are the difference between wins and losses, championships and disappointment, that's huge. LeBron's season-to-playoffs numbers in those two categories also are slightly down -- 56.5% and 26.8 to 51.0% and 25.7 -- but he does so much overall that he is absolutely the last guy you'd target for doing too little. Overall, though, Miami's BIg 3 scoring average has lost 12.3 points from its season average, and that's been tough to overcome. Dwyane's right knee has troubled him and Bosh's ankle isn't perfect, but history won't care. If Miami fails to repeat, history will only note that LeBron didn't get enough help. The chances to set this right are growing small.

Poll result: Heat fans still confident but Texas votes skew overall numbers: We asked in previous blogpost how confident you are Heat still win win championship after a Game 1 home loss (you may still vote), and results were split. Slightly more than half remain confident ('very' 26.6%, 'fairly' 25.3%). Slightly less than half are less so ('not at all sure' 19.8%, 'not optimistic' 28.3%). However! A breakdown of votes is telling. More than half of votes have come from Florida and Texas, in that order. In Florida, the combined very/fairly confident vote is 70.1%. In Texas, those voting 'not at all sure' or 'not optimistic' (as if they were Heat fans) totaled 78.5%. No matter. Our blog knows no borders, and all are welcome. God Bless America!

UPDATED SAD-O-METER: MARLINS WIN IN EXTRAS AGAIN: We have this new blog feature we update as 1aa1bbhappylong as Marlins' winning percentage is under .300 -- as long as the New York Mets' infamous 1962 record of 40-120 (.250) is within dubious reach. However, in honor of Saturday's 20-inning win and last night's in extras, both over the Mets, we have temporarily replaced our Sad Baseball Face with a happy face. Updated Sad-O-Meter: Current record, 18-44 (.290). Season projection, 47.03 wins, 114.97 losses.

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

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