“If a guy is hitting contested all game, then it’s just their game,” Miami Heat guard Norris Cole said, a day before the Golden State Warriors game. “You [rather] live with that than getting your defense broke down … You can’t give a team everything.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Someone forgot to tell Cole that trying not to give a team everything does not mean they won’t take everything, because that is exactly what the Warriors did last night. They were surgical with their passing while shredding the Heat with their dribble penetration, and their ball movement was so crisp that it was dazzling.
How else would you explain why people stopped running to the open shooters who were picnicking beyond the arc?
But still, it was the contested threes that killed Miami’s spirit. Their defenders would get one hand — sometimes two — up, yet Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson would still sink them. Not to mention that their pump fake-then-pass style of play set them up perfectly to freeze the Heat on the majority of their 12 threes.
It was as if the “Splash Brothers” shot the confidence right out of the Heat’s chests to the point where they were blowing wide open layups (see Dwyane Wade’s miss that looked like he was throwing Andre Iguodala an alley-oop).
At times the play was downright weird, particularly LeBron James’ eight turnovers. However, the ease with which Golden State put up 29 three-point attempts was very similar to the way the Heat have been inviting teams to the line all season, as evident by Miami’s No. 25 ranking in three-point defense.
“That’s one way to beat us,” forward Shane Battier said via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “and they did that …”