The one guy for the Spurs who can change this series is Kawhi Leonard -- nobody else on the roster can defend LeBron James that well. But what Leonard did in Game 3 was not only bother James (22 points and seven turnovers) as well as force him to use screens for offense, but also completely take over the game offensively. Leonard -- who, ironically, hails from Los Angeles and went unrecruited by the LA schools before going to San Diego State -- scored a career-high 29 points on 10-13 shooting.
Game 6 of the NBA Finals was such a seesaw battle of emotions and just sheer basketball that nobody, perhaps not even the San Antonio or Miami players, knew what Game 7 would bring us. And, after a two-point Heat lead at halftime where a series of jabs and hooks were thrown, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade offered a solution: Play like the superstars they are.
Heading into Game 7, we are faced with a litany of questions -- namely centered around why Popovich subbed out Tim Duncan and Tony Parker late in Game 6; how in the world the league's most consistent team and well-run organization choked away a surefire win; and whether or not either one of these teams has anything left in the tank. Maybe, though, the question we should be asking is what will Dwyane Wade provide for the Heat, because lightning won't strike the same place twice.
Wade is averaging the fewest minutes, points, field goal attempts and, perhaps most telling, free throw attempts of his nine playoff appearances.
The Miami Heat's Game 3 showing of the NBA Finals was so awful it could serve as a 48-minute guide of how not to play basketball. Lazy closeouts? Check. The Spurs made a Finals record 16 3-pointers. Poor effort on the glass? Check. The Spurs out-rebounded the Heat 52-36. A starting five who didn't show up? Check. Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 51 points, yet all five Heat starters combined for 43.
When Wade is truly healthy, he attacks the basket with a reckless abandon. He is equally active defensively, playing the passing lanes and disrupting the perimeter. But, he is not healthy right now. His right knee is severely limiting that explosion and, as a result, he's attempting just three free throws per game, or half of his regular season attempts.