Up 5 with 30 seconds remaining, the Larry O’Brien championship trophy had been rolled out, the Miami Heat “fans” started heading for the exits and the San Antonio Spurs could taste the bubbly, but something within LeBron James decided that the game wasn’t over and the Heat had Spurs right where they wanted them. The next three possessions involved a 3-pointer by James, who recorded another NBA Finals triple double with 32 points 10 rebounds and 11 assists, that cut the deficit to 2 points; an intentional foul on the Spurs Kawhi Leonard who only hit 1 of 2 free throws; and an improbable three pointer to send the game into overtime by Ray Allen after Chris Bosh had rebounded a missed attempt by James.
Once in overtime the battle continued with both teams having the lead at some point but after a James jumpshot with 1:40 to give the Heat the 101-100 lead both teams went cold and Ray Allen gave the heat a 3 point lead after Manu Ginobili, who was only 2 of 5 for 5 points, missed a controversial layup and Chris Bosh clinched the game by blocking Danny Greens three point attempt as the clock expired.
What must the Spurs do in Game 7:
Leave Game 6 there:
“I had a very good game last game, and I just couldn’t maintain it ,I was very insecure — well, I had a career high in turnovers in a really bad moment. It really helps to make me feel terrible.” Manu Ginobili after Game 6
Even after playing the way he did and expressing these feeling after the tough loss, Manu and the younger guys had to leave that “woe is me” attitude in the arena Tuesday evening. If not and any of the these guys show signs of a hangover early in the first quarter it could get very ugly quickly for the Spurs. While Coach Popovich probably has a good gameplan set in place he may want to get early looks for Green and Leonard just to help them get that bad taste out of their mouth from Game 6.
Get the “others” going:
There have been moments throughout the series where San Antonio got scoring help from an unexpected source. For so many including Manu Ginobili as a part of the Spurs version of the “Big 3” the more constant and deserving player of that third spot is Kawhi Leonard who is averaging 14 ppg and 10 rpg has been steady and efficient the entire series. So because of that you have to take that 24 point outburst in Game 5 from Manu as an added boost instead of expected, and because of that he along with Danny Green and or Gary Neal have to have either a good individual game or combine for at least 30-35 points.
What must the Heat do in Game 7:
Continue to help the “King”:
While “King” James has the ability to score a lot of points and put the team on his back it is so much more easier for the Heat to be in position to win if their complement players step up. In Game 6 we saw Mario Chalmers (20 points) Mike Miller (9 points) Shane Battier (9 points) all step up and take advantage of open looks given to them by San Antonio because so much focused turned to stopping LeBron during his 18 point barrage late in the game. If these three or even someone like Norris Cole, who surprisingly didn’t play, can help out by hitting a crucial shot when called on that makes stopping the Heat so much more difficult.
Empty the tank:
The team will have the entire summer to recover so Coach Spoelstra will not have to worry about watching any player’s minutes and I wouldn’t be surprised to see LeBron play 45 of the 48 minutes unless he gets in foul trouble. Each component player on the team that plays should see this as an opportunity to play all out on both sides of the court especially on defense where the Spurs have yet to figure out that its easier winning when you dont give the ball to the other team.
The Spurs had their chance and the championship was within their grasp but in a matter of seconds all of that changed and the Heat smell blood in the water and this will be another moment for LeBron James to chronicle in his career and because of his focus and determination I cant see him losing tonight. Heat 95 Spurs 89
Finals MVP going to LeBron James