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League-best Spurs hand Heat 30 point loss, worst of the season

Gasp, What Happened? What exactly caused the most lopsided loss of the Heat’s season? What went wrong? Everything. There are plenty of reasons why the Spurs boast the best record in the league but to summarize: experience, patience, unselfishness, teamwork, chemistry. Words with the same meaning, built on the Duncan-Parker-Ginobli core of 8 years, a solid role player factory and a well-respected, never smiling coach in Popovich who all follow and execute their system night in and out. Miami, on the other hand, has an impressive record in the East, boast the 2nd best scoring margin in the league (1st is, you guessed it, the Spurs) and overpower the opposition with speed, athleticism, and other-worldly plays from their other-worldly players. Well. Both teams played, and one was just that much better than the other. Miami’s best two assets, their defensive intensity and unstoppable drives on the break, were nullified with the Spurs’ excellent ball movement and lack of turnovers which the Heat can so gallantly maximize on. Their weakness defending the guard position was constantly exploited by the speedy guards, giving the Spurs open shots at the end of every play. Ball Movement – Shot Selection The Heat offense relies heavily on pick-and-rolls from the James-Wade duo in partnership with Bosh, assuring the ball ends up in the hands of any of the three or an open shooter if their core is heavily guarded. As simple and effective as such simple plan should be, it often stagnates into isolation play and the step back jumpers. The Spurs pulled back on most of the Heat’s picks , heavily packing the paint and daring the Heat to beat them from mid and long range: Note the lack of shots in the paint and the abundance of shots from mid-range. A picture painted by the Spurs’ defensive tactics which worked to a T. The Spurs offense relies on ball movement, quick drives from the speedy guards and the occasional Duncan feature in the post. A mesmerizing display of teamwork put the Heat in a daze, allowing drives in the paint and wide open shots all across the court. Note the amount of three point shots nailed from the corners, product of the swift ball movement that allowed the Spurs’ 17 3-pt shots, a franchise record. Such teamwork and unselfishness also gave way to 8 Spurs in double figures for an evenly distributed attack, not relying solely on the three players. Times the Heat has had 8 players in double digits this season? Zero. The Frenchman and the Point A big part of what gave the Spurs such advantage over the Heat was the ability to claw at one of their Achilles heel: the point guard position. Tony Parker was expected to miss 2-4 weeks, giving the Heat guards a small break, but was unexpectedly found in the starting lineup. According to ESPN the injury wasn’t as bad as the Spurs’ originally thought. He also had added incentive to perform since he had flown in 20 kids from his basketball camp in France to attend the game. In 23 minutes, Parker wreaked total havoc on Miami’s defense. He scored 15 points on 50% shooting while getting into the paint at will and drawing fouls galore ( a perfect 7-7 from the line). When collapsed upon, Parker kicked out to the open man giving him 8 assists for the game and a bountiful of hockey assists (passes that would create a second pass to the open man). Tony finished with a game high +31, numeric proof of his contribution to the Spurs efficiency and the Heat’s deficit defending the position. When Parker sat, George Hill (11 points, 4-of-9, 4 assists) and Gary Neal (16 points, 7-of-8, 4 of assists) were equally adept at digging into the Heat’s weak spot running at Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers without remorse. Miami’s defensive style relies on packing the paint to deter easy baskets and dare teams to win on jump shots, yet this time gave up both. The View from Here Surrounded by avid Spurs fans with certain antipathy towards the Heat, there’d be plenty of digs to go around: "Dwyane Wade sucks now" "He doesn’t suck, he just doesn’t get to showcase how he used to. All LeBron now." "Our boys are playing basketball! Maybe they could give the Heat a clinic on how they could as well!" After Bonner wraps up James yet he manages to put it in late in the 2ndquarter: "Whoooa. Okay that’s impressive. Wow. " Spanglish: "Pinche LeBron, es una bestia. Que beast. What can you do." After Dampier’s push on Parker: "Don’t be mad because you’re getting smoked!" Game over: "Look at this, we beat the NBA’s darlings by 30 and yet they still won’t talk about us." "They never do. They’ll talk about how they lost and not how we won" At their core, they are all right.