One. E-Four. C-Five.

The Spurs' first move is the most popular move in chess, and that is to do what has always worked, and that is to have the same starting lineup in Game 1.

Now, you may be thinking that it is the Heat's turn to make the next move. But, you see, the Heat had already made their move, even before Game 1. And that is to start Rashard Lewis. At first we thought that Chris Andersen may be injured, but it turns out he's not. So that means starting Lewis was a calculated move. Maybe it was due to the success they had with that lineup with the Pacers, who like the Spurs, had two legit bigs. Or maybe they borrowed from the Spurs' book when they played Diaw a lot against the Thunder's packed paint.

The Heat had success with that. Of course LeBron James being LeBron James (uncramped version) had something to do with that, but it also forced the Spurs to sit Tiago Splitter a lot because the Heat's perimeter shooting nullifies Splitter's use on the defensive end. The Heat will continue to start Lewis, and that is why he gets my pick before they change their mind.


So, you may be thinking that it is actually the Spurs' turn to make the next move. We may think that, but they already made their move, just not in the place we expect it. Not the starting lineup, but in-game adjustments. Splitter will stay a starter, but it is Diaw who plays his minutes and finishes the game.

Will we see adjustments in Game 3? Absolutely! What I haven't seen is the Spurs pounding the ball to Duncan and Splitter outside the first quarter. What I haven't seen is the Heat sitting the invisible Mario Chalmers more. Who knows? Manu starting? Diaw starting? Battier getting minutes? Haslem?

How about you, what's your next move?



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59 comments:

  1. Nice pick... that's who I have down for the next game... (that could change though) I hear what you have to say about Splitter, but I could change ...

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    1. Just hoping Heat stay with Lewis minutes -- the primary reason he gets my pick.

      Also could change.

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    2. Lewis is a good pick. Right now, if he stays at the same minutes he will get my pick if there is a game 7. He also keeps you from picking Mario Chalmers, somebody a lot of us have picked and as you can see from posts people are not happy with what they got out of Mario. Mario Chalmers makes for a good possible Game 6 pick.

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    3. I have Chalmers moved to G6. Tentatively.

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    4. If it comes down to it I will use Splitter @ a home game... 5 or 7....

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  2. I'm definitely not picking Splitter (for safety reasons), but San Antonio should really be playing him. When he and Duncan are on the floor together, the Heat have no answer with their small lineup. Look on the boxscore at how Duncan performs with Splitter out there with him compared to Duncan on his own. I'm sure Popovich will at some point go with the 2 big guys. You don't win by adhering to what your opponent does. If you worry about defending the small lineup, you shouldn't. Instead, pound the Heat in the paint and make them pay. Outscore them and make them take a ton of fouls in mismatches. Right now the Spurs are adjusting to what the Heat are doing instead of playing their own game and forcing the Heat to adjust.

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    1. I agree. But I also understand why the Spurs do that. They are a defense-first team. They believe they always have source of points regardless of who are on the floor.

      I prefer playing Splitter more in 2nd and 3rd quarter if they really don't want to finish with him.

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    2. The Splitter ship has sailed in regards to picking him, especially on the road. Tiago Splitter has 3 road games playing @ Miami as a member of the Spurs team. He has a high of 9 PRA and his two other games were 6 PRA. Can't recommend picking him at all, and his minutes do seem to be on the trending down.

      Rashard Lewis on the other hand, for those that need an extra pick, seems to be a decent option, at least while he continues to start. Rashard Lewis last 4 games (22 PRA, 15 PRA, 10 PRA, and 16 PRA) while starting for the Heat.

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  3. I'm going with Diaw. Hopefully he keeps up the good work.

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    1. Pop loves Diaw's point-forward abilities, and the ball movement that comes with him. He'll stay in high rotation until Spurs go down 1-2 or 2-3

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  4. Yay. Kind of. I had the first two picks in the correct order. Manu then Bosh netted two more points than Bosh then Manu would have. Zing. Who da man?

    So my next move is supposed to be Timmy D. He had back-to-back 34 PRA games, so of course he will continue to be great now that I pick him. Right now I am not so sure about Leonard in game 4. Might have to think about that some more, depending on how game 3 plays out.

    I hope for another split and a best-of-3, starting in San Antonio.

    Right now it looks like James does something else only Michael Jordan was able to do since the NBA/ABA-merger from the 70s, win the same Finals match-up twice in a row. I am not counting out the Spurs... yet.

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    1. U da man!

      Leonard seems to be in a funk lately. Spurs need him moving around.

      Can never top MJ, who is 6/6 in the Finals. LBJ is 2/4, and needs it now to be above .500

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    2. Can the Spurs get the "split" without playing their "Splitter"?

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  5. I don't know what to say about Bosh, disappointed that he dropped down 5 PRA from G1 to G2 or happy that Ginobili G1 + Bosh G2 are still +2 over Bosh G1 + Ginobili G2? Bosh only got 3 rebounds so that hurt but the +2 would be okay if I was confident about my G5 pick. Danny Green has looked bad even at home, just imagine what he'll be like on the road when he drops to single digit PRA, oh wait I just said it! I he gets 10+ PRA in either of those games (or G6 assuming there is one), I'll be shocked but I will in no way be picking him on the road, however I'm not even confident picking him at home in G5 and I'm thinking of Splitter but he's not much better than Green, then again even 1 PRA better is better. This is where (yes I'm still made) WAS/IND comes up yet again! Going into the finals, it seemed to be the one thing I got over, but instead it's the biggest effect. If the Wizards had been the team facing the Heat last round, I'd have 4 of the 5 Wizard starters and have used Blake Griffin (as the LAC/OKC series was always on the same day) unless the Wizards came back from an X-3 deficit, then I'd have 3 Wiz and not used Blake. If the Wizards somehow went to G7 after being up 3-2 and then won I'd have 3 Wiz and would have used Blake. Unfortunately they lost and I used only 2 Wiz and not Blake. I also got burned by David West only getting 17 which I'm sure his worst PRA of the playoffs and on at least 2 occasions had more than double of that.
    I'm now at 96% which equals my % high and now I'm trying to see how high I can finish since I'm 122 behind the leader.
    I've got Wade and Diaw for the next 2 games but now I need to see which combination is better, G3 Wade, G4 Diaw or G3 Diaw G4 Wade? Unfortunately Wade is the hottest pick in both games (it's always a surprise when someone is picked the most in more than 1 game of the same round, even in the Finals), he even overtook James who appears to be winning the hot pick fest 30-25% and now LBJ has fallen all the way to 17%, a 13% drop that puts Wade in the lead even though he has dropped 6% to 19%.

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    1. I like the G3Diaw G4Wade option, except if you have a better Heat player available for G3 outside of Wade

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  6. Dang Taong...
    .....Your leader board starts at 1211
    .....Tough crowd :P

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    1. Truly tough. 20 ppl out of 30 in Page1 still had a Big3 picked in G2. I'll have to say goodbye to Page1 soon.

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    2. Yeah..... I used LBJ last night myself....

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  7. Wow, Phil Jackson finally got his puppet. Melo likey likey? Fish should be able to tame Odom. Are we smelling Pau Gasol changing coasts?

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  8. Lets go baby. Bosh for me next game. The regardless I'm taking the King game 4.

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    1. The King does have a few good strike-while-enemy-is-down games.

      Series is going 5 games, Bosh in G5 @SA perhaps?

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  9. These playoffs have been amazing this year. I mean the first round was the greatest I've ever seen. The rest of the playoffs were okay but nothing compared to first round. But these finals have been close. I'm liking them so far

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    1. Always good when teams really do fight it out. Record # of G7s?

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  10. Virtually out of the running thanks to Green's 10 PRA. Still have Leonard, Wade, Ginobili and Duncan. I hope I can creep up to the 95th percentile.

    Going with Wade tomorrow. Plays better at home and I usually pick good players when the series are tied. Momentum Games is what I call them.

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    1. With your options THCH, Wade is the correct G3 pick. Heat can't afford to lose that momentum.

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  11. Well Leonard had another stinker it was either him or Diaw after I decided to not pick Wade which didn't have a great game also unfortunately I picked the wrong one. If anyone else has Leonard I would save him for games 5-6 because I did a little research and saw that his last 3 games in last yrs series he did well then of course it could be different this yr though.

    Today I'm going with Bosh no reason really

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  12. Does anyone listen to Colin Cowherd?

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    1. About Fish? LBJ?

      http://espn.go.com/espnradio/show?showId=theherd

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    2. Was just wondering... I listen to his show every morning on the way to work and at work lol

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  13. Tony Parker put up 28 PRA which is around the best that he has been putting up since the Portland series (Round #2) which was the last time he cracked the 30+ PRA mark. This was nowhere near his playoff best of 45 PRA, but it is, what it is. Had Parker not taken an elbow to the sternum and needing to be removed from the game and sit might have allowed him to add to his total PRA, but naturally since I picked him on this night, that never happened. Still 28 PRA is decent enough compared to other games, but Tony Parker is capable of doing far better than this, and has.

    The Spurs punted away a home game, and now gave up home court advantage back to the Heat. This is important because the Heat were only 27-23 on the road this year, and had a stellar 40-9 home record, thus far. The Heat are far better at home than on the road, and now the Spurs must win at least 1 road game (if the Spurs don't toss away any more home games), if they have any hope of winning this series. I think that is an overwhelming task for the Spurs to overcome based on Miami's home record, and I just don't see it happening. Also don't like how much difficulty the Spurs had with Miami playing at home. Even the big win in Game #1 only happened after Miami's best player went down with cramps. And before that happened the Heat were winning that game.
    Looks like another Miami Heat championship is on the horizon.

    As far as DTTF players go, Kawhi Leonard is having a difficult time defending LeBron James, and is getting in foul trouble because of it, and it is really affecting his game. He had good games vs. the Heat last year, but this year so far, he has been nonexistent as a factor, and has been a disappointment for anyone picking him. Kawhi Leonard should be avoided unless you don't have other options to go to, as his numbers have really dropped substantially vs. last year.

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  14. For tonight, with the series shifting back to Miami for Games #3 and #4, I will be picking Miami players in their home environment. I have Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to pick in these two games, and hopefully I can pick them in the right order (which I many times fail to do). Right player, wrong night, is a common theme for me playing DTTF.

    Thus this is basically a roll of the dice, but I am going to pick Dwyane Wade tonight at home in Game #3. Wade's best playoff PRA score so far is 33 PRA, and only 25 PRA vs. this Heat team (away in Game #2). I would really like to see him match or surpass that 33+ PRA score tonight.

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  15. Lineup changes for tonight: (rotowire.com)

    Boris Diaw to start at PF, Splitter to the bench. Rashard Lewis still starts at PF for the Heat.

    Spurs: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan

    Heat: Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Rahard Lewis, Chris Bosh


    (If this continues, wish I still had Boris Diaw to pick in a starting role).



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    1. Diaw pickers should be happy about the starting call

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    2. May be bad news for Lewis pickers. Ugh!

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  16. I went ahead and kept Rashard Lewis.... :)

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    1. Good luck on us. Want to see Lewis crash the boards, now that Splitter sits.

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  17. Leonard with 7 quick pts. Series just got better.

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    1. At least I woke up Kawhi Leonard by pointing out how poorly he was playing. Danny Green actually showed up so far as well.

      And the Spurs are outplaying the Heat on the road, while Miami played better than the Spurs @ San Antonio. So much for stats.

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  18. Really bad night to pick any Heat player. Just great that I picked Dwyane Wade on his worst night of the playoffs.

    And James Jones should be benched immediately. Stupid decision playing him.

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    1. This is one of those times I miss Mike Miller!

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  19. Wow spurs up 23. Look like all heat players will do bad. Can't believe I took bosh dammit

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    1. 55-30. Blowout? Early sitdowns?
      Most picked a Heat. Everybody hurts.

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    2. At least Rashard Lewis is doing well for you and the others who picked him tonight.

      He is one of the lone bright spots for the Heat tonight, whereas almost every Spur player is having a career night, with a couple notable exceptions.

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    3. Yes... Keep it up Lewis !!!

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  20. And this folks, is why you can't judge a game after 2 quarters. A lot of good picks tonight are starting to take form. Only a couple of duds, and a lot of guys are playing like studs! 15 so far from Allen for me. I'm very happy with that.

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    1. Seems like a happy ending after all. Heat didn't give up.

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  21. Real happy with Rashard Lewis's 18pra.
    ...That is is second highest of the contest(22)
    D-Wade, the highest percentage picked player tonight only got us by 10pts. awesome.
    ...and we beat out 5 players of a higher percentage picked...
    ....great night for a filler player for me...

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  22. sighhhh. changed leonard to diaw last minute today. I was hoping to save leonard for game 4, wanted to see some positives out of him today, but theres no way in hell he is going to come close to what he did today

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    1. 17 from diaw is ok. you can still catch kawhi on the 20s moving forward.

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