San Antonio went into Miami for Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals with everything on their side. Miami just got done playing a seven-game series, Dwyane Wade isn’t himself because of injuries and San Antonio had more than a week of rest.
It was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Despite losing in almost every statistical category in Game 1, they topped Miami down the stretch 92-88 to take a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals.
Many times during the duration of a NBA game, plays in the end determine outcomes. Almost every game is determined in the final minutes of the fourth quarter because every team is on an almost even playing field in terms of talent.
As expected, Game 1 went down to the wire and the fresher team came out on top.
San Antonio only recorded four turnovers all game, and that was a major reason why they came out on top in the fourth quarter, outscoring Miami 23-16. They have been great in the assist-turnover ratio all year and their strength came to fruition in Game 1 (16 assists to four turnovers).
LeBron James recorded another triple-double with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Heat. However, with the failings of Wade in the fourth (0-for-2) and Chris Bosh missing open shot after open shot, the defending champion couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch.
Tony Parker led the Spurs in scoring with 21 points including a desperation two pointer with seconds remaining to give the Spurs a two possession lead.
Tim Duncan scored 20 points and added 14 rebounds in 37 minutes. Once again people forget just how dominant and consistent he can be on the floor. Maybe it’s his demeanor or maybe it’s his style of play, but he nearly doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
What the Heat can do to make it 1-1 heading back to San Antonio
1. Make open shots.
San Antonio didn’t play the best defense possible in Game 1. Miami missed open shots all game long and they won’t do it again if they receive those same looks.
2. Dwyane Wade must show up in the fourth.
0-for-2 in the fourth quarter means that Wade wasn’t aggressive enough. He needs to attack the rim and be more aggressive if he can find the energy down the stretch despite his injuries.
3. Be more aggressive on defense.
Miami forced only four turnovers partially due to the lack of aggressiveness on defense. They need to dictate tempo of the game to allow for their athleticism to reign supreme. That means getting in more passing lanes, doubling when necessary and playing better pick-and-roll defense.