El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 92, Miami Heat 88

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San Antonio Spurs 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Miami Heat
Tim Duncan, PF 37 MIN | 8-19 FG | 4-4 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +9

If anyone looked rusty coming into Game 1, it was Duncan. But after a 0-for-5 start, Duncan put up a classic Tim Duncan Finals line and anchored the Spurs defense.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 35 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +6

The shooting numbers aren’t great, but Leonard had another double-digit rebounding game and did more than his fair share to limit LeBron James to 18 points on 44 percent shooting.

Tiago Splitter, C 25 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -7

Quiet game from Splitter, but he mixed productive plays throughout the game. He just wasn’t able to string many together.

Tony Parker, PG 40 MIN | 9-18 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | +9

Tony Parker is a maestro of basketball. If the Spurs go on to win this series, Parker will have put his stamp on the Finals MVP with his late shot under LeBron and off the backboard.

Danny Green, SG 34 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +2

If there were any questions as to whether or not the moment would be too big for Danny Green, I think they were answered in Game 1.

Matt Bonner, PF 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2

Welp. Not a terrible night from Bonner, it’s just that not a lot productive came from him. Maybe this series isn’t a good fit for the Red Rocket/Mamba/Winter Shoes. We shall see.

Boris Diaw, C 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1

Watching Boris Diaw defend LeBron James 1-on-1 is a treat.

Gary Neal, PG 22 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +7

I can’t say that Gary Neal had the best minutes for the Spurs. Neal logged plenty with Leonard battling some first half foul trouble. But his inability to catch-and-shoot with confidence hurt the Spurs offense for stretches.

Cory Joseph, PG 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6

CoJo lost his second half minutes as the backup point guard to Gary Neal. We’ll have to see if that’s a trend or just a one-off.

Manu Ginobili, SG 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +3

Not a terribly efficient night for Manu, but the 3s were big. He just knows how/when to make plays.

Gregg Popovich

I thought he stuck with Gary Neal a bit too long in this one, but he managed early foul trouble for Duncan and Leonard well.

Four Things We Saw

  1. This basketball game was so well played. However many more games we get of this series, enjoy them all. This is a treat for basketball fans everywhere.
  2. Considering the Spurs shot 8-for-25 from the 3-point line, they are fortunate to get out of Game 1 with the win. That said, do the Heat have to be concerned that the Spurs are going to be shooting much better in Game 2?
  3. Because of the 2-3-2 format of the Finals, there’s a lot of pressure on the Heat in Game 2. If the Spurs somehow take Game 2, there is immense pressure on Miami when they head back to San Antonio for three straight road games. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
  4. This pass: manu-ginobili-spurs-crazy-pass-game-1-nba-finals
  • PR Spur

    Better pass was the one Manu threw to PArker I think between the legs of Coles but Parker missed the layup.

  • David Donnel

    LeBron never scored when Boris guarded him, I think that says it all. :)

  • GFoyle33

    This is not a rant, but I think you frequently underrate Tiago by a grade. The guys he was defending did not have a major impact on the game. He also was consistently hauling ass down the floor after defensive stops, and was wide open for a potentially easy layup several times, but Tony was – understandably, especially given the objective to avoid turnovers – unwilling to pull the trigger. The Heat definitely recognized he was open.

    I think the Spurs’ success tonight is linked to both Tiago and Neal: even though they didn’t make a lot of shots, they hit a few big ones. They put a lot of pressure on the Heat defense, got into their heads, and wore them out.

  • NY Spurs Fan

    I think the minutes were mostly well distributed. I’d like to see T-Mac receive CoJo’s 2 minutes. Can he perform any worse? And I’d like to see Gary Neal’s halved and provided to Diaw (7) and Ginobili (3).

  • BobbyKe

    Leonard with a B+? Disagree. ESPN.com’s recap had that stat
    Lebron v Kawhi: 2-8 FG, Average Attempt- 16 Feet & 6 Points
    Lebron v Others: 5-8 FG, Average Attempt- 9 Feet & 12 Points

    Lebron’s aggressiveness was severely limited by Kawhi. I had confidence in him defensively v Lebron, but that good? Even exceeded what I would expect. Kawhi gets a solid A from me from the defense alone

  • GFoyle33

    One more thing, a play that hasn’t been remarked upon yet, but I think was a HUGE defensive play: Tony had a lightning quick closeout on Chalmers in the left corner . I had the feeling that Mario would have potentially sunk a soul-killing 3-pointer if Tony hadn’t defended so well. Instead, Chalmers was forced to take a wild shot with the shot clock going down that hit the edge of the backboard, WHOMP – shot clock violation. Impressive D-fense!

  • TheFG21

    Agreed. Min an A-.

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  • DaTrillSpursTBlog

    There is a better pass by Manu at 11:28 in second quarter. Is there a .gif please?

  • Tim in Surrey

    Plus I was really impressed with that late steal. He could’ve made that move several times earlier in the game, but he saved it for winning time. That was savvy.

  • NYC

    If the Heat lose game 2, there will be never ending comparisons to the 2007 Cavs getting swept and Lebron choking. You gotta think the unprecedented scrutiny Lebron faces is enough to crack any man. Game 2 is a must win. Otherwise it will be an epic nightmare. He will wake up every night in a panic like his buddy D-Wade does in those Gatorade commercials.

  • Graham

    It looked like he timed it so it slipped just behind his running feet, but I agree. When he threw it, Cole was BEHIND the ball and ran in front of it as it streaked in behind him.

    God Manu’s passes are amazing.

  • Danny

    The Lebron D was great, but if Game 1 gets an A, what does Game 1 plus hitting his shots get?

  • apollinax

    But also caused Duncan to pick up the second foul with an atrocious attempt to steal a pass.

  • TheRed&Black

    I would love to see this kind of intensity closing out on shooters more often from Tony.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Good observation I agree. There were times he was wide open with his hands up and Tony opted to do it himself. Tony needs to give some of those up. I think the grade is because the game didn’t go through him like during the season against other teams so the impact isn’t noticeable but that’s not Tiago’s fault. I did like that post up against Lebro where he was licking his chops shrugging him off to go to the rim and score on a nice hook.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    the fact that McGrady hasn’t played in a while and was never known as a defensive player, then yeah I think that’s an issue. I see TMac as more of an insurance policy than someone they’re going to insert into the lineup for production.

  • Titletown99030507d

    It’s weird how it seems he’s not doing much during the game but in actuality he’s getting things done. I kinda expect him to turn in superstar performances.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Yes that was terrific defense by Tony. As I saw that sequence I said to myself “damn that’s the best defense Iv’e seen from Tony in a while”.

  • Titletown99030507d

    What I would like to see is Manu do the same. He’s just way too far off from his man at the 3 point line.

  • Titletown99030507d

    “Classic”.

  • Titletown99030507d

    That’s one thing Manu will always do well is pass. Sure wish Nando was in this series for a few minutes at least just for the sake of moving the ball.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I’m going to start calling Manu the “Rifleman”. I’m sure there’s a few of us know what I’m refering to.

  • neverthehero

    Thanks for pointing this out “as wide open for a potentially easy layup several times, but Tony was – understandably, especially given the objective to avoid turnovers”. Not only for Splitter but I thought Duncan was open a few times as well. Also, there were some wild passes early on that the Spurs were just able to hold down onto.

  • alex

    Is it an optial illusion or did Manu put back spin on that pass?

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  • STIJL

    Who knows what’s going to happen in the end. But this game was a HUGE win. And forgive me for saying this being ESPN is this site’s main source of leads and follow through, but the disrespect is sickening by that network. They are totally bias based on advertising and drumming up of who they think will win that they go out of their way (or allow others) to unjustly downplay what the Spurs did and make excuses the rest of the day for how Miami lost. Who’s fault would that have been? Huh?

    It very well could be the Heat rebound and play the rest of the series as the “golden child” team that has been promoted by the network. But if the Spurs win this thing, it falls solely on the producers and people in charge at ESPN to be left with egg on their face.

    The Spurs don’t relish in media hype or “what’s suppose to be”. They have proven year in and year out (even if they lost in a series) how a team, of the up most integrity, should conduct themselves in this professional environment.

    It’s something, (knowing it’s not how the national media conducts business), I would hope they present in their broadcasts, links, and wire feeds, regardless if the Spurs win or lose at the end of this whole thing.

    That said, I would like to think the Spurs landing great talent for the next several years, via free agency, has just shifted from the opportunity to play with Tim Duncan to playing with Tony Parker. Making relevant a destination and desire for those looking to gain a ring and the moniker of “best” to migrating to the Spurs to be part of the legacy and proven system.

    Spurs played not their best while Miami played close to their best and the Spurs still won…to me…this is a great sign the Spurs will win it all.

    GSG!!! Beat the Heat.

  • PR Spur