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Game 2: Rejected and Dejected

June 10, 2013

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(Photos by Kin Man Hui of the San Antonio Express-News)

Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard showed up for Game 2, but none of their teammates did, which resulted in the Spurs getting their asses handed to them by the Heat 103-84. While Green shot a Finals-record 5-for-5 from beyond the arc (and was a perfect 6-for-6 overall) to lead the team in scoring and Leonard grabbed 14 rebounds, the Big Three of Parker, Duncan and Ginobili combined for just 27 points on 10-for-33 shooting and accounted for 9 of the Spurs’ 16 turnovers on the night (quadruple the team’s Game 1 total).

It wasn’t simply a matter of the Spurs playing terribly (which they most certainly did), but the Heat were just as great as the Spurs were awful. Although LeBron actually scored even less than his previous playoff-low Game 1 total (17, down from 18), he was an absolute beast on defense – his cataclysmic block of what was about to be an epic Tiago Splitter dunk (if there really even is such a thing) was the highlight of a swarming Heat defensive effort that resulted in a 33-5 game-deciding run.

Unless the Spurs pull their heads out and match the Heat’s intensity, focus and desire from this point forward, that 33-5 run may not just have decided Game 2, but it may prove to have decided this series. It would also help if Ginobili will quit simulating Grand Mal seizures every time he has the ball. Because what looked after Game 1 to be shaping up as an ultra-competitive all-time classic Finals series destined to go seven, suddenly looks after Game 2 to be three straight wins from a Heat championship.

If Popovich truly is one of the greatest coaches in league history, he’s going to have to prove it over these next few games. Another showing like what the Spurs put forth on Sunday night certainly won’t help cement his legacy. In fact, getting outstrategized by Erik Spoelstra would mar it significantly. Let’s see what Pop and his team are truly made of, because what they showed in Game 2 was certainly not championship mettle.

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