El Conclusion: Miami Heat 109, San Antonio Spurs 93

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Miami Heat 109 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, PF 33 MIN | 6-10 FG | 8-10 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | -4

With Udonis Haslem out of the starting lineup, Duncan had his best scoring game of the series in terms of both points and efficiency but it wasn’t quite enough for the Spurs.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 33 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -6

Leonard played solid defense on LeBron James, but the league MVP was in attack mode all night. When James is able to knock down those long 2s the Spurs were offering up, it’s hard to defend him.

Tiago Splitter, C 14 MIN | 0-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -11

What a horrible game from Splitter. At least he hit his free throws, I guess.

Tony Parker, PG 32 MIN | 7-16 FG | 1-3 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -6

Parker had a great first half and was pretty much shut down in the second. TP didn’t score after halftime and dished out just three assists.

Danny Green, SG 36 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -4

Green had two misses from the arc and still hit 60 percent of his 3s. It’s pretty incredible what this guy is doing in the Finals.

Matt Bonner, PF 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -4

Most of Bonner’s minutes came in garbage time tonight.

Boris Diaw, C 11 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +3

After not playing in Game 3, Boris Diaw had a surprisingly positive impact on this game for the Spurs. He hit a corner 3, got a fast break layup and played some decent defense.

Gary Neal, PG 31 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -15

Still gunnin’. Still drainin’

Cory Joseph, PG 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -9

Nine pretty anonymous minutes for CoJo in Game 4. Didn’t play good, didn’t make any major mistakes. Basically, he’s sucking up minutes when Parker is off the floor.

Manu Ginobili, SG 26 MIN | 1-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -22

Manu Ginobili has a hard time helping the Spurs offense when the only thing he can do is come off a pick and jump-pass or shoot a long, contested 3-pointer.

Gregg Popovich

I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but the rotations felt weird from Pop in this game. These are the things you do in the Finals, though, especially when the other team changes their starting lineup significantly. The offense was different as well. A lot less Tony Parker running off screens away from the ball, but that could have something to do with the hamstring strain for TP.

Five Things We Saw

  1. I wonder how much money Tiago Splitter cost himself this summer with tonight’s performance, and likewise how much Gary Neal earned with his continued hot shooting. But then again, the NBA has a way of overlooking games like these when it comes time to cut the check for 7-footers.
  2. That Gary Neal and Danny Green continue to shoot this well is one of the great stories of this series.
  3. Norris Cole played great D on Tony Parker in the first half, one of the few Heat players who could stay in front of him. But like we said, the second half was a different animal for Parker. The Heat defense really improved and the Spurs offense looked a lot like it did in the second half of Game 2.
  4. It’s nights like tonight that make me wonder how close Manu Ginobili is to retirement this summer. I don’t think it happen, but nights like Thursday night make me think.
  5. Dwyane Wade was great in this game and I wonder how much of that had to do with Tiago Splitter starting out defending him. That, if anything, showed how little of a threat the Spurs thought Wade was entering Game 4. Was it inspiration? Or were the shots just falling? I’m curious to see if he can keep it up for three more games.
  • TheFG21

    It was an awfully night and a very frustrating game to watch as a Spurs fan. Lots of TOs and bad decisions. We have to give credit to MIA thought. Those cortisone shots they’re giving to Wade are working! LeBron, Wade and Bosh played phenomenal. The question is… how sustainable that is?

  • junierizzle

    I know Manu isn’t young anymore but man, if you’re going to lose at least go 1-16 not 1-5. At least attack the rim so what if you don’t get any calls.

    Well, I hate to say it but so far the Spurs have failed miserably both times Miami has “turned it on” Just like the Pacers, they threw the ball away and looked befuddled when Miami pressed.

    They way this series is going, Spurs will win game 5 and go up 3-2, followed by two days of talking about how Miami “loving a challenge” and then tie the series. In their minds all they see is Game 7 at home. Game 7 to win it all. Man, I think we all remember that game 7 against Indiana.

  • BobbyKe

    C- is generous for Ginobili. He’s really making it clear he’s done. I can’t see him coming back after this series. Spurs don’t need his offense to win this series, but him not making things worse is needed

    Not surprised by the outcome. Before the series I predicted Spurs win games 1, 3, 5 & 6. Every game is important, but the odd games are so much more important. They’re a huge momentum shift. Can’t say this game gives Heat momentum, it just ends the Spurs momentum. I have confidence Spurs win Game 5 as I don’t see us losing back to back home games & they can certainly win 1 of 2 in Miami whether it be in or 7

  • AHeights

    Can we please please please get Mills instead of Joseph, and Blair instead of Splitter?!?

  • Gomezd

    Great summary, really suprised there was no mention of the turnovers though. I think that was the single most disapointing thing, terrible terrible turnovers, and not just from great miami defence, Diaw threw a pass straight to lebron, pretty sure ginobili plain threw the ball away a couple times same with tiago. And Tim seem to have butter fingers all game, felt like I was watching Dwight.

  • BobbyKe

    Splitter to Blair is a MASSIVE downgrade Defensively. Splitter is one of the best defenders on the team & is still worthy of quality minutes consistently. Blair is never going to be deserving of 15+ minutes in this series like Splitter is. There’s no way Tiago will have the same defensive assignments in Game 5

  • AHeights

    Heat doesn’t have size to make Blair ineffective, like the Grizz did. He’s strong enough to bang with Haslem and fast enough to chase Bosh. Splitter was getting ball slapped a way too easy, Blair might do a better job scrapping for those loose balls.

  • Gomezd

    Agree here, I think Blair is decent enough to challenge shots when lebron or dwight drive yet is more mobile than Tiago and can help better against Bosh. And if he can rebound like earlier in his career that could be a huge plus against an undersized miami

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  • AHeights

    Manu went to rim early in Game 3, was great to help set tone. Turned back into a passive liability this game. Wade had a throwback game tonight, now its Manu’s turn . . . it’s now or never!

  • junierizzle

    Yeah but I figured it would be this game for Manu. A chance to go up 3-1 and he didn’t even try. To be fair though he did set guys up but they were blocked at the rim.
    I feel confident that Spurs will win Game 5 but like I said in my previous post, it’s all about how they handle Miami when they “turn it on”, which they would for game 6. At this point the only thing that can negate their “turning it on” is Manu. TP is going to play good, Duncan will be solid, and we are getting enough shooting, Manu has to come up with 12-14 points. Similar to what Ray Allen did tonight. That’s the head scratching part. Spurs aren’t asking Manu to take over and go for 25-30 points they just need a dozen or so, but he isn’t even getting up the shots.

  • Colin

    Splitter is a liability, he needs to train explosive movements this summer to gather and dunk. I am so tired of seeing him getting his shot contested unnecessarily by the likes of guys 5″ shorter than him. His legs are too young to be euro-soft around the basket like that

  • sdedalus83

    C- isn’t generous, it’s outright absurd. I was able to watch about 7 minutes of the game tonight, and during that time, Manu handed the heat 8 points on a freaking silver platter by not boxing out, throwing two horrific passes, and bricking bad 3 point looks. I’d generously give him an F-; through lazy, moronic play, the guy has absolutely destroyed any chance the team had at staying in games 2 and 4. He’s been great over the last 10 years, but at this point I want him to retire before game 5 tips off.

  • NYC

    I only saw the first half, but Pop had some head scratchers out there. He had four guards (Joseph, Neal, Manu, Green) with Duncan. Miami started attacking the paint and we had trouble securing rebound. So in came Boris… and he played surprisingly well.

    What was that all about? Why the four-guard line up?

  • Spurs fan in Australia

    Going into this series I was hoping Ginobili would win MVP so then each of our Big 3 would have a finals MVP, now I would just like a historic Ginobili game.
    What is also disappointing is the play of Splitter. But in some ways makes sense as he never had a low post game so can’t dominate against smaller defenders that way and so relies on the PnR which Miami defend so well so touches are limited. Still thought he could have rebounded better.
    Lastly, with Miami starting Miller, do you see any line up changes for Spurs in game 5? Is it possibly they start Ginobili instead of Splitter to match up better and possibly get Ginobili going playing along side Parker and Duncan?

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  • STIJL

    There big three played far superior than our big three. Didn’t see urgency, determination or ability by our big 3. Didn’t witness matching Miami’s intensity in the second half. Instead of diving for loose balls, Spurs players were rather lethargic in going for rebounds and 50/50 balls. On offense, Spurs settled way too often to kicking back out to tightly covered perimeter players instead of making Miami pay for double teams on the perimeter by sending a cutter to the basket. Kawhi comes to mind in that kind of situation yet he (or another) wasn’t used effectively in that situation. But being blocked from behind while right at the basket by no other than a crippled Mike Miller pretty much told the story of how the game progressed after the first half.

    In game adjustments were very poor as well as it seemed surprising that Pop raised the white flag early in the 4th. Combine that with mentioned above and it would be hard for any team to win that game.

    Tough to watch when thinking at any time the Spurs would pull away and win this thing only to see them collapse once again in the 4th.

    Strange series. Each team winning there games due more to the other team falling apart towards the end of the game. Who knows what lies in store the rest of this series. But one thing is evident now…Spurs will have to get another win in Miami.

  • Spurholic Mumbai

    Just a few thoughts ( as saw only the first half): a) how could the Heat guards / small forward block shots of Spurs 7 footers in the Ist half – at least six shots at the rim were blocked in the Ist half by Heat! ii) Manu seems to be low on confidence – his “patented” behind the back dribble has been spotted by the Heat, he had at least two turnovers in Game 2 trying that move, since then, his ball handling appears to have become shaky, iii) Spurs couldn’t exploit the size mismatch in game 4, surprising did not go to the post with either Duncan or Splitter, iv) Splitter appears to be trying too hard to score – maybe with an eye to the next pay check he’s trying too hard, he hasn’t tried any fake / reverse lay ups, which were the cornerstone of his effectiveness till the Finals, common Pretty. Lastly, tempted to say, may be CoachPop is being mischievous with the fans, giving “rope” to Heatles after pushing them to the ropes, just like he “fixed” a Ist round with the injured / beleaguered Lakers, allowing Spurs a more convenient route. Hoping he smokes the victory cigar at Le Bron’s home court… once again

  • Len

    Manu should’ve won the 2005 Finals MVP.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Big Shot Rob should’ve won the 2005 Finals MVP.

  • idahospur

    Have to say Manu is not himself and its making things look bad. Maybe he just hasn’t had enough playing time this year to be comfortable with the rest of the team, but with the Finals in a tough state, he needs to sit out.

    In the 2nd half, I saw many opportunities for the Spurs to drive and dish for a 3, but it never seemed to happen. It looked like the Heat were doing the same defense we had used against LeBron James by smothering when in the key and trusting worse shots.

    If Wade and Bosh are playing like this, then I trust Pop to plan ahead for Game 5 and make the necessary adjustments. Neither team has shown that they can take 2 games in a row which proves well for San Antonio, but I do not want to trust them to get a Game 7 win in Miami.

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  • Titletown99030507d

    Don’t worry about Splitter’s paycheck someone will pay him in the off season. What we need to worry about is the hell are we going to do about him getting hacked to hell in crucial moments of the game when it’s tight and not a damn call in sight. Looks like Lebro and Wade took turns hacking him and having the privilege of not paying for it. Sorry but splitter can’t catch a break with these fockin refs.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Hey Andrew our hall of famer is getting rejected in the paint at crucial times in the game like when it’s very close. Not to mention missing some key buckets and free throws. HOF’er want a near perfect game from him at the rate he’s getting.

  • Titletown99030507d

    If we win Sunday we win game 6.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Your fokin crazy if your going to put a munchkin 6’7″ center on the court against Miami. Chill out Blair hasn’t done shit since he regressed into a cacoon. If morphing into a butterfly during trash time is your idea of of better get a clue. Diaw might shoot but he and Blair can’t guard for shit any center in this league. By the way tell Tony to pass the fokin ball when he’s wide open instead of electing to take on 3 bigs for a desperation layup going nowhere. OK?

  • Titletown99030507d

    Wake up from your dream Bosh can shoot the hell over Blair all night long uh everyone else for that matter. Where you been? It’s obvious all season long.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Your dreaming too. Miami is not undersized. Bosh, Birdman, Miller and yes Lebro will out rebound Blair.

  • Titletown99030507d

    The problem isnt Splitter its the damn TO’s Timmy and Manu, and Tony are committing.

  • Titletown99030507d

    He doesn’t have eyes behind his head.

  • Titletown99030507d

    The reason Boris had open shots is because they didn’t respect him. (No way they thought Diaw was going to beat them) They’ll guard him much better now for game 5 and now we’re screwed because whoever he guards will definitely score on his ass. You mean Bonner needs to get some minutes to bang in the paint with Tiago when Timmy sits.

  • Titletown99030507d

    No way. Something sure is different in this series. How can Splitter have 2 good series then a great one against the best center in the league in Gasol. He should be going to the line way more than what he is but the zebras determine the flow of the game. Sorry but that’s my take.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I agree Timmy should rescind his 2005 Finals MVP and the league should give it to it’s rightful owner. That was Manu’s MVP. He was robbed. Go ahead Timmy your in the giving mood these days how bout it?

  • Titletown99030507d

    No.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Miller, Allen, and Bosh need to be controlled at the 3 point arc. I’m tired of seeing Miller jack up 3 after 3 after 3. Hello? Boys ? He can shoot. They control that and we won’t be talking about what wacky lineups we need to put on the floor.