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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hot Water

Game 1 of the NBA Finals is in the books and the Heat are in hot water already. After going toe-to-toe with the Western Conference champion Spurs in the first half and appearing to gain the upper hand in the third quarter, the Heat we came to know in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers resurfaced. That Heat is "LeBron James and everyone else".

James had a triple double (18 pts., 18 reb., 10 asst.) and more than held up his end of the bargain on defense. However, the same old underachieving effort of the Heat, which is becoming a pattern, reared its head in the 4th quarter. Missed shots, being outworked under the boards (save for LeBron), turnovers, and an inability to contain the Spurs role players in the 4th quarter led to the Heat trailing by two points in the final seconds. Then Tony Parker banked a clutch shot with five seconds remaining to extend the lead to four points, with the ball leaving his fingertips just as the shot clock expired. That put the Heat away, 92-88.

Close only counts in Horseshoes and with hand grenades. This was close to being a shot clock violation.  But it wasn't. It was the knife through the Heat in Game 1 delivered by Tony Parker, right. 1

Miami is essentially facing a must win situation in Game 2 on Sunday night. Falling behind 0-2 is tough. Losing the first two games at home in a seven game series is a kiss of death, especially in the Finals when the team with the lesser record enjoys three consecutive games at home.

Miami has been an extremely tough out when its back has been against the wall. They blew the Indiana Pacers away in Games 5 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals when control of the series and the series itself, respectively, hung in the balance. They'd better bring that high energy level to Game 2. I don't think LeBron was referring to conference championships when he said, "Not 2, not 3, not 4...."

What you say today could haunt you forever. 2

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