Thursday’s Truths: The Champs Are on the Ropes

Miami Heat MVP LeBron James and friends celebrate NBA Championship with Armand de Brignac ("Ace of Spades") Champagne. (PRNewsFoto/Armand de Brignac Champagne, Seth Browarnik/
Miami Heat MVP LeBron James and friends celebrate NBA Championship with Armand de Brignac (“Ace of Spades”) Champagne. (PRNewsFoto/Armand de Brignac Champagne, Seth Browarnik/

In the NBA, no one has come back from being down 3-1 in a playoff series. Tonight away from the home crowd the defeating champions Miami Heat must play at a high level to get the victory.

If you would have told me that San Antonio Spurs star players in Toni Parker and Tim Duncan was held to a combined effort of 18 points in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, I would have expected next to hear the Heat blew the Spurs out on their home floor.

Besides not having their Big Two dominate, the Spurs still don’t have an answer for Heat forward Mike Miller, who continued hit hot shooting from the perimiter that he left off from Game 2, connecting on 3-of-3 jumpshots from the 3-point line.

Instead of a Miami blowout, it was the exact opposite. San Antonio got an even larger contribution from their role players and the Spurs punished the Heat with their outside shooting.

Guard Danny Green made 7-of-9 shots from behind the arch. Coming off the bench guard Gary Neal shot 6 for 10 from long distance in a combined effort to score 51 points. Taking a page out of Miami Heat Coach Spoultra’s playbook, the Spurs broke an NBA record connecting on 16 3-point baskets.

You add effective shooting, offensive rebounding, fast break points and key defense on your opposing star players and that’s the formula for a Game 3 monstrous win for the Spurs.

The Champs are on the ropes and a great counterpunch is what they need to gain some momentum back.

Right now, the Spurs are sky-high with their massive win against the defending champions. But they may have made a big mistake in running up the score in the final minutes.

With most teams you must put your foot on their throat to send the message, “you can’t compete with us.”

However, the Heat is cut from a different cloth. Miami won’t take light to the embarrassment they suffered in their Game 3 defeat. I think the Spurs might have just woke up the beast.

Sometimes you need to be shook up to realized where you are. If they didn’t know it before, Miami may have just realized they are playing in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs swept LeBron James in his first trip to the finals and they just reopened an old wound. This is where greatness happens. Now is the time to see if James should be privileged to be in the same conversation as Magic, Jordan and Kobe.

They all have had their backs against the wall, through injuries, teammates not contributing and the world counting them out. But somehow those athletes managed to go to a special place and perform the best basketball we’ve ever witnessed.

And it all starts with a jump shot.

Magic hits a skyhook through the lane against the Celtics; Jordan shoots his infamous free-throw line extended jump shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Black Mamba may be the best at perfecting late-game close heroics with his lethal mid-range or deadly behind-the-arch jump shots.

Everyone knows James can dominate in the paint. In fact the Spurs are clogging the middle and sagging off to give him a free range jump shot. The Spurs are doing to James what Kobe did to Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook and what James himself did to Derrick Rose.

It’s kind of an insult when you think about it. As a basketball fan, it’s kind of funny. However, I believe the King will have the last laugh as he proves why he should be in the conversation along with Kobe Bryant as the best player on the planet.

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