I found myself watching Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals rooting for Erik Spoelstra to put LeBron James back on the court every time he sat down. Why? Not because he was some type of superhero, but because the Miami Heat desperately needed his offense to save them from their bad defense.
It was one of those things where you wished that the team would just get back to square one until you realized that they were simply showcasing a problem that they had all year. And they didn’t discriminate about who was able to take a peek at their flaw.
Everyone from the bottom feeders to the league’s most mediocre got to have fun taking turns at trying to expose it to the masses, but it was the San Antonio Spurs’ tendency to share the ball that truly shed light on Miami’s inability to guard the three-point ball — especially Dwyane Wade.
San Antonio was able to make the Heat scramble with their crisp ball movement. The more they made the extra pass, the more the champs began to look non-existent on that end of the floor — and the more Wade displayed his slow three-point rotation. Not only was his play a clinic in how to leave shooters open, but it was contagious. The entire team started to look defeated, as they argued with each other and the refs.
They would run halfway and then stop, choosing to watch shots go up instead of closing out to the hot hand. There was no pride in much of their play, and when they would actually force a stop they would compound their iffy effort with a foul or zero rebounds.
I don’t know if Miami stole the win because “the ball started to stick” for San Antonio or the fact that they put James’ big body on Tony Parker, but if they can’t get their defense together they will be in for a short series.