Earlier in his career, when head coach Gregg Popovich opted to bring Manu Ginobili off the bench in favor of less talented players like Brent Barry and Michael Finley the saying went "It doesn't matter who starts the game, but who finishes it." In honor of Tim Duncan's Game 1 of the the 2013 Finals I'd like to amend that saying to "It doesn't matter how you start a game, but how you finish."
Duncan had as dreadful a first quarter as you could ask for. He started off 0-5 and picked up two early fouls. He returned in the second quarter to help stimey a Heat run and slice a nine point Heat lead to three by halftime. Duncan continued to dominate in the second half on his way to 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks as the Spurs picked up a 92-88 victory. After the game, Duncan discussed that his confidence in his shot never waned despite his early struggles.no comments
The San Antonio Spurs stole home court advantage in Game 1 of the NBA Finals versus the Miami Heat and are just three wins away from title No. 5.
But the road to the Finals was filled with thrilling games, wild finishes, and close calls but in the end, San Antonio captured the West crown and are looking to add to their franchise success.
Check out the road to the NBA Finals through the lens of the NBA's Phantom Camera including phenomenal dunks by Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan's milestones, Tony Parker's dominance and more. It is enough to make any Spurs fan beam with pride.no comments
With 31.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, there stood the San Antonio Spurs holding a 90-88 lead over the Miami Heat just after LeBron James had knocked down both of his free throws to bring the Spurs’ lead to two points.
From there, Tony Parker would put himself in the Finals highlight real with one significant play. Parker and the Spurs would drive the ball up the floor and after running down the clock, Parker got caught dribbling with James hovering over him. At times it looked like Parker was going to lose the ball as he even fell to one knee, but he was able to regain his balance and shoot a shot that went off the backboard to give his Spurs the game clinching basket 92-88 with 5 seconds remaining.
“It was a crazy play,” said Parker after the game. “I thought I lost the ball three or four times. And it didn't work out like I wanted it to. At the end I was just trying to get a shot up. It felt good when it left my hand. I was happy it went in.”no comments
With the Spurs starting their fifth NBA Finals tonight against Miami, several Project Spurs staffers as well as a few of our friends in the blogosphere and the media decided to try to analyze this series and make our predictions. Leave us your thought on the series and predictions in the comments.
Paul Garcia, Lead writer
As written in my Mega Preview, I just feel that the Spurs have too many weapons while the Heat are relying almost solely on LeBron. The saying is "the Spurs go as Tony Parker goes" and though Parker will have James on him at times, I don't feel the Heat can risk that maneuver too much or else Kawhi Leonard and possibly Manu Ginobili can take advantage of their defenders. Parker could have maybe one or two off nights, but I think with the series as a whole he's playing on another level and he's going to be able to run the Spurs' offense against a Top-rated defense in Miami just like he was able to do against a supposed Grizzlies defense. I think the Spurs split one of the two in Miami and finish off the series with three in a row in the AT&T Center.
Michael De Leon, Co-founderno comments
After 10 days of rest, the San Antonio Spurs are ready to start the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat tonight in Miami. With the series set to start, I turned to Heat blogger Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Hoops to help me preview this matchup and give us a little more information on the Heat.
1. Who do you think has the advantage going into Game 1 on Thursday? The team that has had 10 days of rest or the one that just finished Game 7?
I would say it's the team with the shorter rest. The Heat will happily take the two full days off and get right back to competitive basketball without missing a beat but 10 days is a huge amount of time to be off right before the Finals. The Heat certainly didn't think a lot of time off was an advantage after losing to the Bulls in Game 1 of the second round after sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. It would be one thing if the Spurs had to play against any another NBA team but they'll be facing a Heat team that's eager to defend home court and repeat as champs.no comments