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In game 3 of the NBA Finals it was LeBron James vs. the Spurs. It is beginning to look like LeBron is giving up on the Heat and the Timid 2. He had the lead in game 1 when he was struck by cramps. He left and so did Heat. The Spurs took game 1. In games 3 and 4 LeBron was the one and only factor for the Heat. As a result the Heat lost both of the home games. The title will belong to the Spurs and LeBron will be looking for help in the off season.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were taking up space for no particular purpose. On the defensive end both looked like dress shop manikins watching the Spurs pass the ball around. On the offensive end they were trying out for the title role in Invisible Man II. The “white out” became “walk out” a couple of minutes into the 4th quarter.
Some apologists will want to blame the little 9 rather than the big 3. But this series has pointed out the age of Wade and the lack of talent of Bosh. LeBron is on his own and he clearly does not like it.
Wade was a step or more behind all game. Wade shot 28% for the game and several times could not jump high enough to jam the ball. Bosh looked lost. He did not even try to block out on missed shots. It looked like the Heat expected the win on their home floor just by showing up. And that is what they did—just show up. When the Spurs got off to another nice lead in the 1st quarter, the Heat folded. They never made a charge to close the margin.
While the Spurs won game 1 because LeBron went out in the final minutes, they dominated games 3 and 4. The ball movement that was lacking in the game 2 loss was back in both of the wins in Miami. Perhaps the worst sign for the Heat was that the Spurs blew them out with all-everything Tim Duncan scored just 10 points. The rest of the Spurs stepped up and dominated the Heat on both ends of the floor. Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points to lead the Spurs. But his work on D was the the difference. He was on LeBron most of the series. Making LeBron work on the O end has helped the Spurs win. He should be the MVP of the series.
The impact of a loss in this series would be huge. There is a good chance that a coaching change would happen. There will be pressure on LeBron to stay but the only way he will is if the Heat can get more talent on the team. One or maybe 2 of the big 3 will likely be gone. Wade looks done. Bosh is soft. Too often he looks like a 5 year old that let go of his mother’s hand in a crowd. Not only is he standing around but he looks like he has no idea what to do to stop the bleeding.
The Spurs have gutted the offense of the Heat by limiting their turnovers. By the 3rd quarter the Heat O was LeBron on 5. He was 7 for 8 and the rest of Heat went 1 for 9. He may will the team to a win in game 5 but this series is over. So may be his stay in Miami.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
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