The biggest reason for the Heat’s Game 2 victory — as it usually is — was James. After the slow start in the first quarter James, put forth arguably his best performance of the postseason. Missing only one shot in the third quarter, James hit one of those zones that leaves the defense helpless and forces the fans to just marvel at what is being done on the court.
It was James’ third quarter run that put the game in the hands of the Heat, and it was a fourth quarter drive and pass leading to a wide open Chris Bosh three that propelled the Heat to victory. James is the best player in the world, and when he is playing at his best it usually does not matter who the opponent is because James is capable of dominating everyone on the court.
While James has established the expectation that he will take over games the way he did in Game 2, the reason the San Antonio Spurs should not be too worried about it is that it is almost impossible for James to maintain that play in every single game. The Spurs lost by two when James was spectacular, proving that if James does not drain jump shots the way he did in Game 2, the Spurs should be in a position to win. Throw in that both Tony Parker and Tim Duncan missed two crucial, late free throws and there can he hope that even if James maintains the way he played in Game 2 the Spurs are good enough to come through with a victory.
The main reason the Spurs were able to keep up with the Heat even when James turned into an absolutely unstoppable force is because of how well they protected the ball. After 22 turnovers almost cost the Spurs a Game 1 victory, a low 11 turnovers is what gave the Spurs a chance despite James’ dominant play.
The Spurs shot almost 10 percent worse than the Heat and shot a pathetic 60 percent from the free-throw line. These numbers prove that the Spurs are capable of playing much better than they did in Game 2, and if James decreases his level of play even slightly it may be enough to get the Spurs a win.
The Heat should be happy with a split on the road, stealing home-court advantage from the Spurs. However, the Spurs won an unbelievable 30 games on the road (only two less than the Heat won at home), and the best road team in the NBA should have a great opportunity to take that home-court advantage right back.
James played the way that installs fear into even the most fierce competitors, but the Spurs know that even if he maintains that play they can be right there with a chance to win at the end of the game.