Forget the Best-of-7 format, because it’s been shortened to Best-of-5, with the home court in San Antonio’s favor. Games 3 through 5 will be played near the Rio Grande, at the AT&T Center (no more cavernous Alamodome these days). The outdated 2-3-2 Finals format that started in 1982 has become a topic of conversation as the Spurs will have three straight at home after stealing home court.
After the perfectly executed Game 1, finished by Tony Parker’s wondrous double-pump bank shot, the Spurs made their presence felt, and dismissed rumors of their demise. After a Game 2 bludgeoning that included a 30-5 explosion to end the 3rd quarter and open the 4th, the debate has heated up: Is Miami simply too dominant, or did the Spurs just have something of ax extended brain fart? One trend being highlighted: Miami responds violently to each post-season loss (19-point victories being a common result the next game). Woody Paige, on Around the Horn, noted that Miami can still lose this series without compiling back-to-back losses (they could lose Games 3, 5 and 7).
Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan have been at this shtick for far too long to expect a relapse of that disastrous 2nd-half run. The turnovers that Parker and company avoided in Game 1 were ever-present in Game 2 (16 assists to 16 turnovers). As Popovich has stated repeatedly, turnovers are the fuel that feeds Miami’s fire (the Heat’s fire?!@#()*).
Darko Index Predicts: San Antonio turns it over less than 10 times in each game at San Antonio (3, 4 and 5), and manages to win two of the next three, with each of those three games still in doubt in the final two minutes. Danny Green three-pointers will make a difference.