Nobody can argue with the success that San Antonio Spurs guard, Danny Green, has had. Green has already set the NBA Finals record for most three-pointers in a series and has captured the hearts and minds of folks with his story of being cut by NBA teams multiple times. Green has also done something else spectacular; he has made the people who roam social media much dumber.
Through no fault of his own Green has convinced the world he is a player worth gameplanning around. Despite the Spurs having three Hall of Fame level players — two of whom regularly play at that level — Internet-experts want the Miami Heat to focus on stopping the flurry of threes that Green hurls, all in an effort to push the 2013 NBA Finals to a seventh game. And to that I say you are all a bunch of dopes.
The Internet experts are quick to point out Green’s Finals record for threes — as well as they should. They are also fast to make fun of Chris Bosh for saying the Heat will prevent Green from making as many going forward. While they make fun of Bosh they imply that Miami has been playing less than stellar defense and that Green has been “owning” the series. In the simplest terms that might be right, although it would be ignoring the overlying problem for Miami. Not only don’t they match-up well with the Spurs, but they match-up the worst in the two positions in which San Antonio’s two best guys play.
If someone was to suggest that Miami should focus in more on Green they should also point out where the new-defense will have holes. Meaning, the reason that Green has been so open has been because of Miami’s strategy to trap Tony Parker at the top of the floor as well as helping on Tim Duncan down on the block. Those are the two main reasons why Green has been left open behind the arc. Miami made a decision to try to limit Parker and Duncan’s success at the risk of letting one of the Spurs’ role players going off — which Green certainly has.
Say the Heat decided to play straight up on defense, well, no problems have been solved — only new issues will have arisen. Unless Miami plans on abandoning any offensive output from LeBron James, they could have him guard Parker for the duration. While James can certainly slow him down it does create an issue on the offensive side of the ball, as James would certainly need to take certain plays off. And no, before you even go there, Michael Jordan was never asked to defend a smaller, quicker guard for an entire game and score 30 points.
Now with James out of the picture the Heat would have to decide what defense to do next. Should they go with the “for real” straight up defense, as in having Mario Chalmers guard Parker? Yeah, that would work out as well as having your local grocery store bagger deliver your wife’s baby. Chalmers’ best attributes are on offense and Parker would simply torch him, making the Heat have to rotate and then, yes, leaving Green open for three.
There is no real, easy, correct answer to Miami’s problems. One of the only realistic suggestions would be to have James guard Parker for extended periods of time. I doubt that is something the Heat would prefer, although it is going to be Game 6 and Miami needs to pull out all the stops. They would, though, have to be careful to manage James’ time on Parker so they would not burn him out and leave him inept on offense.
Everyone is currently on the mean streets of Twitter criticizing the Heat, yet not a single soul is offering a realistic solution to the problem. The Heat came into the series as the favorite, but now they are being publicly buried because of a player who has been cut more times than Glass Joe.
When a team’s options are to defend two Hall of Famers really well, guard one of the two Hall of Famers really well or abandon all of that to guard a player whose numbers suggest he is doing things that are abnormal for him as a player rather than what kind of player he actually is, I think the safe bet would be to think the guy playing above what he really is will eventually come back down to Earth.
Me, Twitter @JosephNardone