NBA Finals: Game 5 Recap
The end is here friends. Since the season started in October everything has been building up to this….. The NBA Finals! Luckily for us basketball fans we get to see the two best teams in the NBA in a dream match-up. The Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. After each and every game make sure to check Sportazine for my recaps
Other than Game 1, every game of this series has been decided by 1 team making an incredible run in the 3rd quarter to run away with the game. Last night was no different, as the San Antonio Spurs used a 19-1 run in the 3rd to pull away from the Heat 114-104 to take a 3-2 series lead.
The Spurs finally got the Manu Ginobili game that they needed. After Popovich placed him in the starting lineup for the first time all season the Argentinian scored 24 points and 10 assists in vintage Ginobili style. Drives to the basket, step-back jumpshots, he had it all and the Heat had no answer for him. The defending champs also couldn’t do anything with Danny Green. The man who was cut twice by San Antonio before finally finding a spot in the rotation, hit 6 more three-pointers (he now has a Finals record 25 3-pointers) and scored 24 points.
The other pieces of the Spurs Big 3 had big time games as well. Tony Parker had 26 points and Tim Duncan scored 17 points to go along with 12 rebounds. The Spurs made a concerted effort to increase the tempo and not let the Heat get set defensively. Even after made baskets they were looking to push the pace and it seemed to keep the Heat of balance and constantly getting placed in mismatches. One thing that should’ve been a mismatch for the Heat was Boris Diaw guarding LeBron James. We saw in Game 4 what happened when Diaw took a turn guarding Dwyane Wade, but the Frenchman held his own against LeBron and held him to 1-8 shooting when he guarding the MVP.
For Miami it was more of the same. Lack of focus after a win has been a problem for them in the playoffs. Coach Erik Spoelstra has been trying to combat the Spurs smallball with small lineups of his own (which is why Chris Andersen hasn’t played at all the past few games and Udonis Haslem only played 9 minutes last night), but the Spurs offense has been so good, and so consistent that is causing the great Heat defense to falter. The Spurs run a relentless amount of screens and cuts and the Heat have been switching on pretty much all of these. Last night a suddenly not crappy Ginobili used the mismatches he found against Miami big men and attacking them off the dribble.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both scored 25 points but each needed 22 shots to get there. Chris Bosh scored 16 points, but aside from the Big 3 only Ray Allen scored in double figures (21 points), compared to the Spurs (all 5 starters scored over 15 points). Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole contributed nothing and both spent long stretches on the bench as the Heat went without a true point guard. The only silver lining for the Heat is that they are undefeated after losing 1 game and know that they won’t get a second chance if they lose on Tuesday.
Game 6 is on Tuesday