That’s the question that will linger after Thursday’s thrilling
Game 1 of the NBA Finals. With the shot clock winding down and the
Spurs up two points, Tony Parker hit a leaning runner just over
LeBron James as the shot clock expired to give San Antonio the
deciding bucket in its thrilling 92-88 win over the Heat.
Parker’s shot came with 5.2 seconds left to ice it for the
Spurs. The shot, which barely beat the shot clock, went to review
but was upheld. San Antonio outscored the Heat 23-16 in the
deciding fourth quarter and committed only four turnovers in the
game (zero in the fourth).
Do you think he got it off on time?
And the reaction came fast and furious.
Not sure I’ve seen a clutch shot any better than the one Tony
Parker made. #NBAFinals
And what did the always chipper Spurs coach Gregg Popovich think
of the shot?
And of course The King had something to say about that shot.
Parker finished with 21 points and six assists, but it was the
play of Tim Duncan that really gave the Spurs a lift. Duncan
finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three
James racked up another triple-double, finishing with 18 points,
18 rebounds and 10 assists. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, both of
whom were criticized during the Eastern Conference finals, combined
to score 30 points and were effective for the most part.
Wade, who opted for a more reserved ensemble for his postgame
presser in Game 1, broke down the loss.
Let the analysis begin.
Back-and-forth first half
The first half is in the books and Dwyane Wade is back to being
Flash. The 2006 Finals MVP showed he’s still got some juice in
those legs, scoring a game-high 13 points before halftime on 5-of-8
shooting from the field as the Heat took a 52-49 lead into
But the Spurs showed they can keep pace behind the ageless Tim
Duncan. The future Hall of Famer came out sluggish (0 for 5, zero
points in the first quarter) but rebounded quickly. Duncan went 5
for 7 in the second quarter and went into intermission with a
team-high 12 points and nine rebounds.
Oh, and that LeBron James guy did some damage, too. LBJ filled
up the stat sheet, going for 10 points, eight rebounds and five
But Duncan got the last word of the half.
Spurs GM R.C. Buford hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves
for helping put together one of the best franchises in the NBA. And
when he does get some rare TV time, this happens.
LeBron James has achieved a lot during his NBA career, but one
honor had eluded him. Until now.
King James, who has never been on the cover of a video game
title, was chosen to be the cover athlete for NBA 2K14. The
critically acclaimed basketball simulation title is set to be
released Oct. 1.
Rest vs. rust
So much for rust. The Spurs, whose last game was nine days ago,
came out firing early Thursday night, jumping out to a 9-2 lead.
But the Heat responded behind LeBron James, who finished the first
quarter with six points and four rebounds in the first frame.
King James also got a second foul on Tim Duncan, who finished
the first quarter 0 for 5 from the field and scoreless in the first
quarter. The Heat ended the quarter with a narrow 24-23 lead in
what should be a nip-and-tuck series.
It’s a matchup of flash vs. fundamentals. But it’s not the first
time LeBron James and Tim Duncan squared off on the NBA’s biggest
The Spurs swept the LeBron’s Cavs in 2007, but Duncan knew what
the future held for King James.
But of course this is a different, better version of King James
than the one the Spurs saw in 2007. And he knows it.
Will Duncan get the better of LeBron six years later?
Regaining their form?
It’s no secret that Chris Bosh struggled against the Pacers. The
Heat big man finished with five points and four rebounds in Game 6
before rebounding a little with nine points and eight boards in the
deciding Game 7.
So, what should we expect from Bosh, who averaged 20.5 points
and 10.5 boards vs. the Spurs in the regular season, for Game 1 of
the Finals? Well, his pregame looks pretty good. Although the Heat
would probably want him shooting a little closer to the basket.