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NBA AM: Will The HEAT Bounce Back?
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On June 7, 2013 @ 9:49 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
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Nearly four months removed from the last time they lost two games in a row, the Miami HEAT find themselves in a position where they have to keep that streak intact in order to avoid a 0-2 hole before the Finals shifts to San Antonio for three games. They fell in the series opener 92-88 in a game that was close throughout.
However, in the closing moments of the game, the Spurs found a way to keep the HEAT at bay. Tony Parker just barely beat the shotclock with a crazy shot that came after weaving through traffic, nearly losing it twice and actually falling to his knee. The mid-range jumper ended up being the final bucket of the game, helping the Spurs steal away homecourt advantage.
“We got a little bit lucky in Game 1,” Parker admitted. “Sometimes that’s what it takes to win games.”
“Tony did everything wrong and did everything right on that possession,” HEAT forward LeBron James added.
Beyond Parker’s shot for the ages, the Spurs were stellar on the defensive end, where the held the HEAT to 43 percent shooting from the field and 32 percent from deep. They limited their turnovers to just four, which helped keep the HEAT out of transition, one of the keys to defeating them.
James finished with a triple-double of 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists, but did not come up with the big plays late like his team needed him to.
“I mean, I missed some shots,” James said. “As far as being efficient, I’m not too worried about that. I also had 18 rebounds. And 10 assists as well. So you know, I’m not too much worried about what I do as far as scoring.”
The HEAT were quick to point to how much fresher the Spurs seemed in the fourth quarter. They have been off for the last nine days, while the HEAT are just two days removed from finishing a grueling and physical seven-game series against the Indiana Pacers.
The series will undergo a two-day hiatus now and pick back up on Sunday evening. According to WhoWins.com, a site that calculates a team’s probability of winning based on league history, teams that win Game 1 of the NBA Finals go on to win the series 71 percent of the time (47-19). Now that the HEAT have lost homecourt advantage, they have to win in San Antonio. The Spurs are now 13-2 this postseason, losing at home just once.
HOOPSWORLD will continue to bring you in depth coverage of the 2013 NBA Finals as they continue. Make sure to read the latest from Alex Kennedy, who is in Miami covering the series, as he writes about Danny Green stepping up for the Spurs and Tim Duncan being Mr. Steady for the Spurs!
Adidas Eurocamp Gets Underway: The annual adidas Eurocamp gets underway tomorrow in Treviso Italy, and while their won’t be many marquee names participating this year’s camp will feature some first round talent and a ton of the names you’ll hear called in the second round.
Here are a few of the notables at this year’s camp:
Bojan Dubljevic – 6’10” – Power Forward
Dubljevic is currently ranked 52 in our HOOPSWORLD/Draft Express Top 100. He is a big bodied forward/center that averaged 14 points per game in Eurocup and better than 20 a game in the ACB. His contract status, signed a three-year deal, last June, makes him a safe bet for stashing, especially for teams with multiple picks they be unable to move for value.
Dante Exum – 6’6” – Point Guard
Exum is not in the 2013 Draft, but has a chance to graduate in December and could be eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft rather than doing a year in college. Exum is an impressive draft prospect and he has been doing the skills and all-star tours for a few months now and will put his game on display against higher level talent in Italy this week. If Exum shows big, it could go a long way towards catapulting him into the 2014 Draft class, something that seems more likely than not. If there is a super electric guard on the horizon to pair with the super talented Andrew Wiggins, Exum might be the guy.
Rudy Gobert – 7’2” – Center
This will be Gobert’s second go with NBA talent evaluators. Gobert measured in as the biggest player in the 2013 NBA Draft class, but his drills in Chicago were far from stellar. Gobert will likely participate in higher intensity drills this week and be able to show NBA teams if he is indeed worthy of the first round chatter that’s surrounded him for most of the year.
Livio Jean-Charles – 6’9” – Small Forward
Jean-Charles put himself on the NBA radar with a strong showing at May’s Nike Hoops Summit in Portland. This week he’ll get a chance to showcase his game again and maybe lock himself in as a draft pick in this year’s draft. Most talent evaluators peg him as a late first to mid-second round prospect;. Jean-Charles is currently ranked 40th in the HOOPSWORLD/Draft Express Top 100. If Jean-Charles can show another explosive outing it could do wonders for his draft stock.
Mindaungas Kupsas – 7’1” – Center
This is Kupsas’ second run through the draft process. He pulled out last year after testing his stock with NBA teams. He is an intriguing prospect, however the knock last year was lack of physical strength something he’ll get a chance to show improvement on this week. Kupsas has a refined skill set and is absolutely a player to watch in the second round as teams try and grab players they can stash for a year or two overseas.
Nemanja Nedovic – 6’3” – Point Guard
Nedovic could be one of the best athletes in the International basketball and his draft stock could swing significantly if he performs well this week. NBA teams want to like his game and showing improvement on his shooting and his decision making could move him from the 50th ranking he currently holds on the HOOPSWORLD/Draft Express Top 100 into serious second round decision. Like most of the International prospect under consideration Nedovic could be a pick and stash player in the second round.
Raul Neto – 6’1” – Point Guard
Neto is a fringe draft prospect as things stand with a 98 ranking on the HOOPSWORLD/Draft Express Top 100, however he is an interesting prospect. Some might say a poor-man’s Ricky Rubio. He is a solid athlete that sees the floor well. He creates well for himself and others and if scouts this week see enough, Neto going in the second round could be very likely. He is still very much a bubble guy to be drafted but his overall outlook could be pretty interesting.
Lucas Nogueira – 7’0” – Center
This is Lucas’ second run through the NBA Draft process, pulling out last year after failing to get a firm commitment on his draft stock. “Bebe” as he is none has progressed and he’ll get a chance to showcase that this week and prove that he is ready for the next level. “Bebe” has a great skill set, his body still needs work and there have been constant questions about his drive and motor. He’ll get the chance this week to put some of those concerns to rest and maybe secure himself as a first round pick.
Look for videos and features from this year’s adidas Eurocamp over the next few days and follow Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) who is onsite in Italy on Twitter.
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