Why Game 2 should be different for Heat
by Erik C. Anderson, USA TODAY Sports
Maybe David Stern was right.
The NBA commissioner declared Thursday that this year’s NBA Finals, between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, were the most anticipated of his 30-year tenure. Tony Parker immediately made Stern look prophetic in the Spurs’ 92-88 Game 1 road upset, which he sealed with a tricky buzzer-beating bank shot that left American Airlines Arena deflated.
Based on the Heat’s track record, Game 2 on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, ABC) should be different. Miami hasn’t lost consecutive games in five months and is 10-0 after a loss in that span. In its Eastern Conference showdown with the Indiana Pacers, Miami responded to its three losses by outscoring the Pacers by a combined 52 points in three wins.
“They are just good,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. “They can really come back and beat us in San Antonio. So we’ve got to play our best game (Sunday) like if we are 0-0.
“I expect them, of course, to play an even better game, to be more aggressive, try to make us play uncomfortable, force turnovers and push it. They’re going to try to use their athletic abilities to get to the paint, to score, to get the fans involved. And we have to be calm, we have to move the ball well, and don’t let them get us on our heels, basically.”
The Spurs, who have the best winning percentage in NBA Finals history, are convinced they can play even better entering Game 2.
“It’s always a nice feeling to win a game, regardless of the situation,” Spurs guard Danny Green said. “We know they’re going to come out a totally different team. So we’re taking it game by game. But it’s always good to get a win knowing that we didn’t play as best as we could. But we know they didn’t play as best as they could either. We’re expecting each game to be different.”
In Game 1, the Spurs kept their cool and made the savvy, veteran plays everyone has come to expect from them in the fourth quarter. But Miami has faced deficits before, having set … [For more on Why Game 2 of NBA Finals should be different for Heat, click here.]