My, how things can change quickly. The San Antonio Spurs were the talk of the sports world after beating the Miami Heat on the road in Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals, but after a blowout win for the home team in Game 2, everyone is planning the parade in South Beach. If you’re a Spurs fan — or a real basketball fan, in general — you’re not jumping on that bandwagon quite so quickly. Sure, Miami now has some momentum and this series isn’t going to be a short one, but this ain’t the Spurs’ first rodeo (pun definitely intended).
In the 2005 NBA Finals, the Detroit Pistons were going for a repeat and looked poised to do so after tying the series 2-2 with a 31-point blowout win at home over the Spurs. Sound familiar, Heat fans? Game 5 of that 2005 Finals series was an absolute classic at the Palace of Auburn Hills and arguably the greatest game in Spurs franchise history: a one-point overtime victory for San Antonio that propelled the Spurs to a seven-game series win for their third title.
Now, does that little history lesson guarantee a dose of deja vu for the Spurs? Absolutely not. Should it remind everyone not to crown the Heat after their fourth win in their last eight games? It should, but it won’t.
All members of the Spurs’ Big Three — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — had bad games on Sunday night, which is rare for San Antonio, especially on this stage. Here’s a safe bet for Game 3: it won’t happen again.
On the flip side, LeBron James was extremely passive for Miami for the most part and it turned out well as his Heat teammates responded with solid all-around performances. But James won’t be passive again in this series while his teammates have once again come alive, so Miami will be even better for the most part, especially once the series returns back to South Beach, assuming the Spurs don’t win all three at home.
Moral of the story? Don’t bet on the Heat in five games. The Spurs will bounce back as they have done consistently throughout the Duncan era. In other words, get ready for more nail-biters in San Antonio.