Young Kawhi Leonard from Moreno Valley (Yes CA viewers big up your boy) still sporting the 2k braids decided to finally rise to the occasion and do what Pop been wanting him to do all series long…drive to the net, shoot the ball (as easy as that sounds) and ball out (to say the least). Last night he played his best game (29-4-2) in his very young and promising NBA career to give the Spurs a 2-1 series lead over the Miami Heat.
I don’t know if he let a molly pill marinate in his Gatorade but he was putting in work on both ends of the court and played the best defence I’ve seen in these playoffs on LeBron.
With Leonard being an very important factor in the Spurs rout over the Heat…the first half was nothing but butter for the Spurs shooters, you’d swear their starting 5 was all Steph Curry’s, shooting for 76% from the field (25 for 33) by the end of the first half. Known for their exceptional ball movement, the Spurs had the Heat defence on their heels the whole game and letting up 71 points in the first half…you’re basically digging your own grave against a very disciplined team.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HEAT?! You’re right…about them? Chalmers was better off stay home…easily one of his worst games during these playoffs. 20 turnovers Miami? 1. You’re not going to win a game against a team like the Spurs handing them the ball that many times. 2. More than half of the Heat turnovers came from Bron (7) and Wade (5)…your best players know better than playing hot potato with the ball (Credit to Danny Green with 5 steals).
There are two positive things I can say about the Heat from this game…Firstly, they came out in the 3rd being the aggressor and outscoring the Spurs 24-15…cutting the lead to 7 at one point (too little too late) and secondly, my dude Rashard Lewis showing signs of his young days back in Seattle/Orlando. Over the last 5 games…52.9% from downtown and finishing with double digits in each game…the reemergence of Lewis is key to the Heat’s goal of a 3peat and I hope Coach Spo keeps him in the starting 5 rotation.
All in all…Spurs came ready to play while Heat players were already thinking about how many bottles they were planning on popping at LIV Tuesday night.
On to the next…we’ll be seeing a way different Heat team for game 4…more poised, more focused and more in control. I expect a HUGE game from Chalmers…don’t expect Spurs to shoot lights out again…”it’s a hit and miss league” (Words from D-Wade). With that said, Spurs won’t just lay there to get walked on but if they can get consistent offensive production from Kawhi…a spark from Danny Green and usual production from their big 3…things could get be different.
My prediction? Heat win game 4 and we go back to San Antonio with the series tied 2 a piece for the all important game 5.