So, are we back to a state of normalcy in these Finals or are we still stuck in some sort of time travel vortex? I can't tell.
Dwyane Wade games 1-3 of the Finals 14.3 points (44%), 1 rebound, 4 assists.
Game 4: 32 points (56%), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals (!)
Where did that come from?
Apparently I wasn't the only one amazed.
LeBron James on Wade's game 4 performance:
"That dude was amazing.......he was the '06 Flash tonight."
'06 Flash? You mean the dude that won Finals MVP by averaging 35 points and 8 rebounds???
That guy is back???
Let's find out......
Question 1: "Do you feel like 2006?"
Wade: "No, I don't feel like 2006. But it felt good."
Question 2: "Can we call you Flash again, just for this one night?"
Wade: "If I keep playing like that, you can call me whatever you want to call me. I'm already getting called a lot of stuff......."
(Like what? I wonder)
Question 3: wait, "Flash right there in the house?"
Wade: well, "I knew I was on when I took the ball over the guy's head and dunked it on the break. That was a little vintage."
(by the way, all of these quotes are for real).
You mean this play????
If that's vintage, I don't want contemporary.
By the way, look at "the guy" after Wade takes the ball over his head.
And by the way, how funny is it that Wade referred to Garry Neal as "the guy?"
I guess vintage Wade is such a bad dude - he doesn't even know who he dunks on.
But wait, how bad is vintage Wade???
LeBron: "to have a game like this, it let's you know you're still one bad -- .......you know the next two words. I can't say, my kids are watching."
Okay, that's bad.
On the Flip side
One might have guessed the team that got more out of their respective struggling two-guard might have the upper hand in this series. Well, while Wade has found his groove, Manu Ginobili is still struggling.
For the Finals: 7.5 points (35%), 3 assists, 1.5 rebounds.
So what's wrong with Manu?
Popovich: "If I knew, I would have fixed it."
And while Wade going back into his "bag" (or in time?) to channel his first Finals is good for Miami, Manu going back to his first Finals isn't such a good thing for San Antonio
'03 Finals: 9 points (35%)
'05 Finals: 19 points (49%)
'07 Finals: 18 points (37%)
'13 Finals: 8 points (35%)
Compare the physical stature of LeBron James and Dywane Wade to that of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.....and even Tim Duncan. Is it me or do the guys from Miami look like body builders and the guys from San Antonio look, for lack of a better word, look skinny?
Random question about the random observation
Do you think that's because Parker and Ginobili are international players?
Not-so random observation
Danny Green is 19-28 (68%) from three in this series.
He is also 3-10 (30%) from inside the three this series.
So you're saying if you close out hard on his spot ups and make him put the ball of the floor to shoot a two-pointer, he is less effective?
Another not so random observation
Ray Allen is shooting 62% for the Finals, 54% from three (averaging 11 points a game, 13.5 points in Miami two wins).
Three for all
Chris Bosh is averaging 14.3 points (48%) and 9.5 rebounds this series.
That's pretty much the same as first team All-NBA Tim duncan: 15.3 points (42%) and 11 rebounds.
The difference is Duncan is the Spurs 1/2 option. Bosh is the Heat's third.
And with Bosh having 20 points and 13 rebounds in game 4, Miami's big three accounted for 85 points and 30 rebounds!
The good news for the Spurs
LeBron has outplayed Parker.
Wade has outplayed Manu.
Bosh has neutralized Duncan.
How is this series even tied?
The good news for the Heat
After averaging 17 points on 39% through the first three games LeBron took 25 shots and scored 33 points (on 60% shooting). He was aggressive from the jump.
For the second straight game, San Antonio seemed content to go under screens and give LeBron and Wade open mid-range jumpers. This time they took advantage of it.
So after 85 points from the big three, do you think the Spurs will change anything tonight for game 5?
Parker: "We have to try to slow them down and hopefully they're not going to shoot like that. We'll keep the same strategy and then we'll go from there."
Duncan: "Get in front of them, let them see as many bodies as possible and then continue to play the way we have and hope they don't shoot the way they did."
So, if I understand correctly, the Spurs plan for game 5:
1) Keep the same strategy
2) Hope Miami doesn't shoot well
Seriously, Coach Pop, "is it possible you may do something different?"
Popovich: "I'd hate to sound trite and say anything is possible. Your question demands my triteness."
Well, who needs adjustments anyway?
Coach Spoelstra, for game 5 "are you anticipating or previewing adjustments coming from the San Antonio Spurs?"
Spoelstra: "Who knows? The most important thing is we're trying to do the things that are most important for us......so we'll see what they do. But we have a pretty good idea of what we'll do."
Wait. I'm confused.
Wait. These guys are geniuses!!!
But then two hours after the media session, this quote had sufficient time to marinate:
Spoelstra: "The most important thing is to understand that you're not playing chess; it's a basketball game. Can you win the competitive skirmishes in the game? That's the most important thing for us. Yes, you do have to make adjustments......but the competitive part of it, that's been the tale of this series."
So, in other words......with three games to determine who wins the whole freakin' thing, forget about the adjustments, you just have to grab your balls and go!
Or in other-other words:
Good to have you back
As I have said over and over (and over again), if you have the best player in the world on your team, that's a good thing. So sometimes, yes, really do forget about the adjustments and just give LeBron James the ball and get out of the way. Who cares what defense the Spurs play? Have LeBron attack and shoot early and often.
This has to be known right???
Seems like LeBron is back on the right track after game 4.
But will he continue this for the rest of the Finals?
Sometimes you have to take the opportunity to not only find out, but also suggest.
And that's what I did:
Yes, that is an official transcript of an NBA Finals media session.
Yes, that is my question to LeBron (by the way, I said "wide open mid-range jumper.") and that is his response (not unlike last year - I guess you can say he is consistent).
Listen LeBron, you will probably get 6 assists just by stepping on the court.
But there is a difference between being a pass first facilitator that runs the offense and an attacking scorer that creates the offense.
And let's look at your claim about playing a certain way to get to the Finals.
'11 ECF against Chicago: 26 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assist (led team in every category)
'12 ECF against Boston: 34 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists (didn't lead in assists)
'13 ECF against Indiana: 29 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists (led team in every category)
(my goodness, those numbers are even more spectacular than I remember!)
Seems like you got to three straight Finals by being the leading scorer and attacking.
So what are you doing about it??????
Nice to see the preparation.
How many times do you see a 6'8", 250 ib player that can handle outside, go between the legs, bang threes and go into the post???
For goodness sake, please LeBron, don't pass!