Game 3: Nothing Normal about San Antonio’s Slaughter of Miami

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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It started out bad, and then it got worse. Worse. Worse. WORSE.

Every Miami Heat miss or turnover was met with a Kawhi Leonard pick-and-roll. Every two-pointer from James or Wade was returned by one of Danny Green’s and Gary Neal’s combined 13 three-pointers. Two steps for the Heat, one step back… and then one giant leap for San Antonio.

But the swamp still ain’t clear. Even after the Spurs blew the Heat out of some polluted Texas water, 113-77 – and did it just down the road from the Alamo – this series is no less a game-by-game 48-minute ritual of anomaly-after-anomaly than it was before Game 3. (Did you get all that?)

Anomaly. That’s what all the talk was, and all it could have been. Anomaly.

Was Game 1 an anomaly that killed the Heat, or was Game 2’s San Antonio no-show an anomaly of its own? Would Tim Duncan disappear again, or would Dwane Wade and Chris Bosh clunk each other over the heads like two-thirds of some Depression-era vaudeville sitcom?

In the end, it was neither. We’re left with a 2-1 San Antonio lead and no clue of what tomorrow will bring.

“Where have you gone, LeBron James, and when are you coming back?” asked the Miami Herald‘s Greg Cote, apparently not satisfied with everything that Miami’s messiah has done for the city. “Where is the offensive dominance that makes defenders and rims quake?”

Still, Cote’s onto something, and the San Antonio contingent was undoubtedly thinking something identical after their team pooped the barcalounger in Game 2. (In fact, blog Spurs Nation ranked the game among the franchise’s all-time losses.)

For two teams that can be counted on to deliver when nobody else can, they’ve been little like their egos.

This version of the NBA Finals has been nothing if not a fustercluck of epic proportions. The Heat and Spurs have gone from normal Seinfeld to the Seinfeld finale – from dependable and helplessly hilarious to a high-priced all-star reunion without a script.

Game 3 returned San Antonio to the top, but their 36-point victory was nothing close to predictable.

Even though the Spurs routed Miami’s Big Three, Parker had just six points. Duncan’s 14 rebounds were honourable, but Green, Neal, and Leonard all outscored him. The Spurs had a Big Three, but it wasn’t the only one we know, or knew, prior.

Miami’s best statistical player was Chris Bosh, and he only had 12 points. Wade led the way with 16, and James chipped in with 15 – although Miami will need him to do a lot more than punt field goals if they expect to repeat.

Mike Miller was the neon city’s only bright spot – with a 5/5 three-point tally – but he barely had enough time to impact anything but his own reputation.

The Spurs have given themselves a fat chance of ending this thing in Texas, but that can only happen if Miami lays another egg in the encore. It can only happen if this series has finally hit normal.

We know it hasn’t, because it never will. (We can only hope.)