Game 5 Preview
Is it just me, or is the least exciting NBA Finals that has been tied after 4 games since the 05 finals with the Pistons and Spurs? Granted, that series redeemed itself with an incredible game 5 (Remember Horry’s performance?), a surprise road victory by the Pistons in game 6 and an incredible game 7. But the fact remains, those first four games were blowouts, and whilst people would not be shocked to find the series tied at 2 games apiece, the combined margin of victory in those 3 games has been an insane 71 points. That has to settle down sometime soon, or at least I’m hoping it does. Now, onto game 5.
Most of the people I have spoken to about Game 4 have been quick to point out the offensive explosion that Wade, Lebron and Bosh put on San Antonio as the key factor to their victory. What has been forgotten is their defensive scheme (baseline help and rotations) really stifled The Spurs. San Antonio can’t allow Miami to bait them into throwing passes to Splitter at the dotted line where he has to catch, turn and try to finish the play. That has taken the ball handler (Parker, Ginobili etc.) out of the play and put the ball in the hands of San Antonio’s least capable scorer (just think back to the amount of times he has been blocked or turned the ball over) It’s really put Splitter and San Antonio in a bad position. My answer? Go small. Duncan at centre, and play Leonard, Ginobili (or Neal if Manu is playing bad), Green and Parker. Miami has gone small as well, so rebounding won’t be an issue. If anything, going small will help their inside game. If they can isolate Duncan on Bosh (and have the spacing that all those shooters create), that will create a situation where Miami will have to help from much further out, or live with that matchup. Let’s see if Duncan can carry San Antonio to two more victories.
My prediction? Spurs win. Last game was a must win for Miami without it actually being an elimination game. This is the same situation for San Antonio. They absolutely have to get this game if they want to have any chance. Winning game 6 (let alone a game 7) in Miami is a brutal ask. If they need to get both, they’ll be done.