Man, I feel great about this loss. Best loss I’ve ever watched. In fact, I’m more excited about this loss than every other win this season except the Thunder game. Our guys showed an absolute ton of heart, smarts, and talent. Yes, talent at the end of our bench.
In case you missed it, and you didn’t, Stern promised “substantial sanctions” against the Spurs for Pop’s decision to send Tim, Tony, Manu, and Green home before the game. A move, btw, that I predicted about four weeks ago and absolutely knew was going to happen after the Spurs went to OT against the Raptors. [FULL DISCLOSURE: I detest Stern and have for a good 12-15 years. I detest him for exactly this kind of douchebaggery. Stern allowed the Bobcats of last season, the Heat tank season that landed them Michael Beasley, and all kinds of other bullshit.] But heaven forbid that Pop show integrity and not fake injuries to his players. No, we can’t have that.
Enough of my hate for Stern. Let’s talk about the game. I loved every damn minute of it. Even the end.
Song of the Game: Love Spreads by Stone Roses
I’m going with ‘Love Spreads’ by Stone Roses for this one. Just to show that I don’t have a heart full of hate. I’m not exactly sure why, but I love about 3-4 songs from the Stone Roses and this one is at the top. Just hearing the lyrics “love spreads her arms” puts me in a good place. It’s not really a nice song in that way, since the next line is “and waits there for the nails”, but the wicked guitar and driving nature of the sound overall make me want to turn it up. And up. And up.
Play of the Game: Ray Allen’s Game Winning Three
Allen’s game winner killed us, but it was also a lucky play for the Heat and showed good team defense by our guys. LeBron attacked the paint and got closed off. The ball was knocked loose and it happened to stay close to LeBron who was able to find Allen wide open. To say the least, the Heat were fortunate.
Trending Up: The Bench. Wow, the bench. And James Anderson
The Spurs undoing in this one was the 15 combined turnovers by De Colo, Neal, and Mills. Those guys had a hard time handling the Heat pressure in spurts, but otherwise everybody was great. Tiago and Bonner grabbed boards. Diaw played head-to-head with LeBron on both ends and more or less held his own.
Nando found his shot and made several very, very heady plays. He hustled and had a big put back on a Patty Mills missed, and heavily contested, layup on the break. He jumped passing lanes and gave Dwayne Wade a decent run on the defensive end.
Lastly, James Anderson turned my head. I thought he’d been terrible so far and he really made some plays tonight. He showed aggressiveness, ran the floor, and busted his butt. If he gets a couple more outings like this then he has a chance of sticking in the league. Go James. We are pulling for you.
Trending Down: Erik Spoelstra
He looked so disgusted when he was forced to call a time out with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter and his team trailing. I really thought he might vomit on his players.
Stat of the Game: Rebounds — 45-37 Spurs
Get this. The Spurs held the Heat to ZERO first half offensive rebounds. ZERO.
This game and the way the bench guys played will pay off HUGE for the Spurs during this season. Pop coached the hell out of them and they responded. They showed effort, talent, and that they can make plays without relying on Tim, Tony, and Manu. Look for the team to really go on a dominating run fueled these guys over the next month. I can’t say enough about how excited I am about our team right now. Just beside myself.