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NBA AM: HEAT Show Character, Force Game 7
Posted By Lang Greene On June 19, 2013 @ 8:57 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
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Throw all of the yesteryear analysis and comparisons out of the window.
The 2013 NBA Finals will come down to one contest, game seven on Thursday night, to decide who takes home the championship hardware.
These are not your 2011 Miami HEAT, led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who crumbled under the bright lights in their first NBA Finals together. These are not the old and washed up San Antonio Spurs the media and fans have been writing off as legitimate title contenders over the past five seasons.
These are two franchises littered with Hall of Fame bound talent going tooth and nail giving each other life and death in the process. The series deciding game should be a classic battle of wills, heart and determination.
The HEAT forced a game seven after entering the fourth quarter of game six Tuesday night facing a double-digit deficit and with James, a four-time league MVP, having an erratic night offensively.
James would ultimately finish the contest with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, including 18 points in the fourth period and overtime in a game with plenty of theatrics. Miami won the contest in overtime 103-100.
“It was by far the best game I’ve ever been a part of,” James said in his postgame press conference. “The ups and downs, the roller coaster, the emotions, good and bad throughout the whole game. To be a part of something like this is something you would never be able to recreate once you’re done playing the game. And I’m blessed to be a part of something like this. And I’m happy about the way we dug down and was able to get a win. It didn’t look like we could muster up at some point in the game. ”
While the HEAT rallied back to take a brief lead in the fourth quarter, Spurs guard Tony Parker almost single handedly sent Miami home packing for the summer with a huge three-point shot late in regulation (with James draped all over him) and then nailing his patented floater in the lane over Mario Chalmers to give San Antonio a late lead.
But Ray Allen’s late three-pointer from the corner with less than 10 seconds left in regulation, after a James miss and subsequent offensive rebound from Bosh, forced the game into overtime. Allen hit the three-pointer under extreme duress but says his shooting routine prepared him for the moment once given the shot.
“Well, LeBron took the shot, and I knew we had time. I went into the paint to try to get the ball and make something happen,” Allen said after the game. “At that point there’s no guarantee who is going to get the ball or what may happen. And when I seen[Bosh] get the ball, I just backpedaled right to the three‑point line, and I was hoping I was where I needed to be. But I wasn’t quite sure. But just from years of shooting, I got to my spot.
“It’s going to be a shot that I’m going to remember for a long time. There’s a lot of shots that I’ve made in my career, but this will go high up in the ranks because of the situation. Just the way that whole last minute and a half unfolded, it wasn’t looking good for us. But we’ve been resilient all year. We’ve been down in situations, we’ve come back and won games. We never give up. Just being able to be in that situation where the ball bounced in our direction. You know, we’ve been a part of many plays where the ball has a funky bounce to it. And I’ve known my whole career sometimes you just get lucky. When you win championships, it involves a little luck. That right there was luck shining on our side.”
The Spurs were literally seconds away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy but now must regroup quickly from a mental standpoint to get it done in game seven.
“It’s a tough moment,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. “We were a few seconds away from winning the championship, and we let it go. A couple of rebounds that we didn’t catch, a tough three by Ray[Allen], a couple of missed free throws, it’s very tough. A very tough moment.
“We don’t think we played a great game, but we were in a great situation. We had them where we wanted, very close game down the stretch. Up two with two free throws and a few seconds to go, no timeouts. We were in a great spot. We just gave them another chance, and it hurts because it’s one of those moments where you’re going to be thinking about what we could have done better in the last few possessions so many times all night long. So it’s terrible.”
Ginobili also admitted getting his team refocused for game seven will be a tough one after wilting down the stretch in a series they seemed ready to closeout.
“I have no clue how we’re going to be reenergized,” Ginobili said. ” I’m devastated. But we have to. There’s no Game 8 afterwards. We’re going to have to play our best game, even better than today.”
No team in this year’s Finals has been able to win consecutive games in the series. Miami will need to do so in order to repeat as champions. If the current trend holds, San Antonio will find a way to get it done, something they couldn’t do in game six.
Game seven takes place on Thursday night for all of the marbles. Winner take all.
Warriors’ Mark Jackson Not Worried About Contract Situation
With 47 regular season victories, the Golden State Warriors finished the 2013 campaign with their best record since 1993-94. Most of the success will be attributed to emerging star Stephen Curry, All-Star forward David Lee and promising guard Klay Thompson. But a big key in Golden State’s emergence was the arrival of head coach Mark Jackson into the fold.
The NBA head coaching carousel has been in full swing since the regular season ended and there are still a few franchises looking in the midst of finding their net sideline general. So it makes sense speculation would lead its way to Jackson’s doorstep as the second year coach could be entering the final year of his deal with the Warriors.
Jackson is under contract for next season but the team holds an option on him for the 2014-15 campaign. Even though his future is up in the air, Jackson remains confident things will work itself out in due time.
“I’m thrilled to have a job and to coach this group of guys — and with great ownership, a great front office and fan base,” Jackson told Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News. “I’m a guy with great faith. I know it’ll work out. So I don’t get caught up in it. This isn’t standard ‘coach line.’ It’s the truth. It’ll work out. I do know that.”
In two seasons with the Warriors, Jackson has compiled a 70-78 (.473) regular season record, but a 6-6 record in the playoffs after leading Golden State to the Western Conference Semifinals this season – a loss in six games to the San Antonio Spurs.
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