Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

June 10, 2014

Heat know Spurs will be inspired in Game 3

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade thinks there’s no one better than the Miami Heat at dealing with the mental challenge of the playoffs. In his eyes, only one other team might compare.

He’s talking about the San Antonio Spurs.

That’s why Wade believes these NBA Finals are just getting started.

When he looks at the Spurs, he sees qualities his own team has, including an ability to break down a loss and quickly correct things. It’s what Miami did before Game 2 of the finals and it’s what Wade expects the Spurs to do before the title series resumes with Game 3 in Miami tonight.

“You never put them away,” Wade said. “I think they always believe and it’s the same with us. You can’t, you won’t, put us away because we’re always going to believe. That’s why this is a perfect, different animal, kind of series. They’re the other team like us. They don’t lose much and when they do they come back and be better in the next game. So we’ve got to come out and do the same thing.”

That would explain why on Monday, instead of a day off, the Heat gathered to watch video of Game 2.

By winning in San Antonio to even the finals at 1-1, home-court advantage now belongs to the Heat. But no one in their locker room thinks it’s going to get easy now.

“They came out great. They played a great game,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said after Miami’s 98-96 win in Game 2, the 13th straight time the Heat immediately followed a postseason loss with a victory. “Now it’s our turn to go over there and get one. We played pretty well all season long on the road and so we’re going to have two great opportunities to try to come up with a win.”

Miami has won a franchise-record 11 straight postseason games at home.

The last team to win a playoff game in Miami was the Spurs, winning Game 1 of last season’s finals.

“We are in a tough situation because we’ve got to go to Miami and we’ve got to get one,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. “We don’t want to come back here 3-1 down. It’s very hard to overcome that. Definitely going to be a great challenge for the team to play in an arena like that and having to win.”

A challenge, sure, but it’s one Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows the Spurs can handle.

“Coming back here there has to be an incredible sense of focus and urgency,” Spoelstra said Monday. “They’re a veteran, poised, championship-level team that’s been through a lot. The crowd won’t affect them much.”

Neither team thought it played all that well in the game that it won so far in these finals.

The Spurs turned the ball over too much for their liking in Game 1 — the game that will be remembered for the air conditioning malfunction and cramps inside a steamy building forcing LeBron James to leave in the final minutes. In Game 2, the Heat weren’t thrilled with a slow start and how they spent much of the game playing from behind.

When James got rolling in the third quarter, things started swinging Miami’s way in Game 2. When he found Chris Bosh for the 3-pointer that put Miami ahead for good with 1:18 left, it was just another example of the four-time MVP setting a teammate up for a big play.

“I’m going to make the right play,” said James, who signaled to Bosh about what he wanted on that play. “To have that trust from my teammates, they know when I’ve got the ball, I’m going to make the right play. Doesn’t mean it’s going to go in. Doesn’t mean it’s going to result in a win, but they believe in my ability.”

The pressure, if Miami had not found a way to win in the final moments of Game 2, would have been enormous on the two-time defending champions.

Now, it seems to have shifted to the Spurs.

“It doesn’t matter what we’ve been through before,” Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. “We’re here now again.”

The last time these teams met in Miami at this time of year, the Heat wound up spraying champagne in their locker room.

It’s tempting, Bosh acknowledged, to think that all Miami needs to do for a third straight championship is stay unbeaten at home.

But Bosh won’t let himself go there.

“I can only think about Game 3,” Bosh said. “We’ve played well at home this postseason. I think we feel we have an advantage now. We have to make sure that we play well and keep it that way.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

Blazers Blog
More