Slow Play Is Death

NBA defenses are so sophisticated now. You don't want to give them a chance to get fully established. When we played Miami in the Finals, we knew that if we called any plays we were doomed. We had to play faster than that. Popovich really pioneered a lot of that. There is a pendulum on a lot of these things, but I really don't see faster offense going away." - Rick Carlisle

41 Spurs points in the first quarter. Boris Diaw started over Tiago Splitter for more ball movement, and that opened up the alley for the Spurs' two shooters. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green finally clicked. Spurs really wanted to break the game open early. The Heat didn't give up (much to the relief of DTTF), adjusted and made a good third quarter rally. But in the end, the lead was just too unsurmountable for the Heat to overcome. Spurs stole one in Miami and got back their home court advantage. 2-1, baby! Okay, 2-1 means nothing yet, but Game 4 is a must-win now for the Heat.


It's countermove after countermove. The Spurs found success with Diaw at the starting lineup, and they should let him stay there. But, what will the Heat do next? I call for Shane Battier for 3 and, most importantly, D! Rashard Lewis was great shooting the treys in Game 3, and that masks the defense that is lacking on the other end. Will they change the starting lineup? Or will they just change player rotations?

Coach Pop got into Kawhi Leonard with not settling in his so-so performance in the first two games, and he got aggressive from the get-go. He shot great from long range and had decent defense on LeBron James. Danny Green, on the other hand, saw how he was tightly defended on the perimeter, and so he played to the basket more.

Notable filler picks for Game 4 are Diaw, Kawhi and Green. Although I'd hold Green for Game 5 (except if you have Bosh for Game 5). My pick for Game 4 is Ray Allen, for no other reason than he's my best remaining Heat available.


May you find the gem you've been looking for in the DTTF Finals.



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86 comments:

  1. ARGHHHHHA. why did i change from Kawhli to diaw.. whyyyy me!!! lol

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  2. I'm going to pay close attention to the starting lineup for Game 4. I'm going with Rashard Lewis, but only if he starts (because if he doesn't, then clearly the game plan has changed). This is going to set up the rest of the series for me. Boris Diaw in Game 5, LeBron James in Game 6, and Danny Green in Game 7. Have to believe the Heat win Game 4. And if they don't, losing Diaw in a 5 game series is something I can live with.

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    1. Diaw over Lewis in Game 4 perhaps? Lewis was not good enough on D and on fast pace. Heat might revert to usual lineup.

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    2. I want Diaw when the Spurs need the win more. Once again, it goes back to Diaw if Lewis does not start. I don't see the Heat making a drastic change, but it will be apparent in their starting lineup. This game is must win for Miami. Definitely playing a Heat, but want LeBron in Game 6. Lewis will be given a chance. He kept playing even in this game, so it didn't look like Spoelstra was moving away from Lewis.

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  3. 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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    1. Highest in the series. And probably his last.

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  4. One little question to the experts... Maybe it's time to take Lebron? After that big loss?
    He will do everything now to not to lose another game and be 1:3.

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    Replies
    1. thats what i plan on doing

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    2. Perhaps it is, but I'm going to keep waiting on LeBron. I want LeBron James is the game where a loss means you are going home. That should get the most out of him. Game 4 will be great. I hold out hope that Game 6 will be the best.

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    3. Not an expert here, but here's my take anyway :P

      LBJ will definitely play harder to prevent a 3-1 hole. But he will play even harder when he's on that 3-1 hole.

      If you still have LBJ, who's your 2nd best available player? If that player is a Spur or Bosh, pick LBJ in G4 and the other guy in G5.

      Otherwise, the other guy in G4, and LBJ in G5 if elimination game.

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    4. I agree with Tangent. LeBron James should really step up when facing elimination. He almost always does.

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    5. Thank you for your advices.
      So, my others good options are Lewis, Green and Splitter. So I think now it's time for Green.

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  5. I believe I will be going with Ginobili in G4....
    ......and Wade in G5
    ..
    I hate to even think of who I would use in any games after that lol

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    1. How about switching that around? Heat still favored to win G4, and so Heat players may get more PRA. And Manu@home may be better.

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    2. I hear ya...
      .... That first scenario is based on the COLD factor...
      Ginobili at 4% and Wade at 3%
      .....Flip it and it's
      Ginobili at 9% and Wade at 18%
      ...

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  6. I can't see taking Green over Bosh in G4... Bosh should bounce back, MIA needs to get him more involved so he should be somewhat hot. Green is statistically a homer so I'm saving him for G5. That leaves me Chalmers, Birdman, Lewis and Mills as my next best for G6/7. Your thoughts?

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    1. And BTW, the HOT factor is working in my favor with a 50 point lead....

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    2. @Beat The Heat, based on your pool, that's right.

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    3. Lewis (if he still starts) Game #4. Green Game #5 (as you said), and Bosh for Game #6 and I don't really think it matters if there is a Game #7 for you, looks like single digits at best, with what you have left for a finale (should it go to Game #7).

      You could always try Birdman in Game #6 @home, and save Bosh for Game #7 on the road, as an alternative way to go.

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  7. Been saving up for this last few pool is: LeBron, Danny, Boris, Tiago.
    Is it time to pick LeBron? Game 4??

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    1. TheOne, there is no hurry to take LBJ, but based on your pool, i'd take him G4

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  8. Daytona got 28 from Wade, that's my kind of worst night of the playoffs! Diaw got 17 so I need Wade needs to be +11 over Diaw (again) for the Wade/Diaw G3/4 combinations to tie, +12 or better to have the better combo all thogether. Logically if Wade got 28 in a bad loss then he has to improve, right? Unfortunately when I took James and Bosh they both were 5 PRA worse than the game before I picked them... and the Heat won, so something isn't right, how does LBJ get 40 in a loss to the Pacers in G1 last round and 35 in victory, how does Bosh get 28 in defeat but only 23 when he's supposed to be getting better? Well I saw that Bosh only got 12 so I guess he isn't getting better anymore but heading back to invisible status. Good thing I got him out of the way.

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    1. Dwyane Wade had 8 PRA (and he was lucky to have that) at halftime and the Heat were being destroyed by 21. So at that point, with the Heat playing so poorly, I figured starters would be benched sooner rather than later.

      I was very fortunate that Dwyane Wade was kept on the court by the coach for much of this game, when the white flags could easily have been waived at any time during this annihilation, and this pick of Wade would have been a huge disaster. Fortunately Wade made a decent recovery in the second half, and ended up with 28 PRA, which was not all that bad considering the circumstances of the situation.

      When I made the proclamation of worst night of the playoffs for Wade, that was true at the time. Chris Bosh on the other hand, did have his worst night of the playoffs (12 PRA) and it was a 50/50 dice roll as to which player I actually picked in Game #3. Very, very, fortunately, I ended up with the right player here. Picking Chris Bosh on this night was a huge disaster.

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  9. After just playing a huge game in San Antonio and gaining home court advantage, Miami turned around and played like they never seen a basketball before. Their defense was nonexistent and they were torched by the San Antonio Spurs while playing @ Miami. The "brilliant" decision to put in James Jones (3 minutes, 3 fouls), was idiotic, and compounded to the problems for the Heat, as this game just snow-balled out of control, and the Heat got annihilated on their home court.

    San Antonio stepped up big time after losing home court, and the Heat laid down in a big way. This game was noncompetitive from the outset, and now San Antonio has regained home court advantage throughout the rest of this series (should they win their remaining home games from this point on). The advantage to win this series is definitely back with the Spurs again.

    The best players to pick in Game #3 were obviously: 1. Kawhi Leonard (35 PRA) who rose from the dead, and had a great game and kept himself out of foul trouble for the first time in this series. And 2. Rashard Lewis (18 PRA) who became a surprise extra pick after becoming a starter at the tail end of Miami's series vs. Indiana, and continuing further into this series. He has picked up the slack offensively while Mario Chalmers has completely fallen on his face and been totally invisible.

    Kudos to those that had the balls to pick Kawhi Leonard after his several very mediocre performances, as well as those that rode the wave and picked Rashard Lewis in Game #3. These were clearly the two best picks to make based on each players situation and vs. what the rest of the pack put up on the night.

    There was no difference with Boris Diaw (17 PRA) starting and Tiago Splitter going to the bench. Diaw's numbers stagnated or even went down while starting, and Splitter put up the same 11 PRA he posted while starting, but this time instead coming from the bench. So far this move made no positive difference PRA wise, although the Spurs obviously played a much better game as a unit. So expect this change (Diaw starting/Tiago on the bench) to continue going forward.

    And lastly Chris Bosh (miserable 12 PRA lack of effort) was an absolute disaster out there. Thankfully I picked Dwyane Wade (28 PRA), who wasn't stellar by any means over Bosh. The decision was 50/50 at best, the only thing that made my decision for me between these two guys was that Chris Bosh had posted a 9 PRA home game last year when these same two teams met. So I went with Wade because of that.

    Unfortunately I have to pick Chris Bosh at sometime and most likely in the next game #4. It's either him or Rashard Lewis, my only two remaining Heat players, as I will save LeBron James for his elimination game (ticketed for Game #6 right now), if/when that happens.

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    1. Interesting Side-note: The Miami Heat were +4 with James Jones on the floor. Not sure playing somebody for 2 minutes can be considered a game-changing, idiotic move, especially since they seem to have done better with him on the floor. He's not the best player but he can play some minutes every so often.

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    2. James Jones fouled Duncan twice resulting in 4 made free throws and 4 free points. He also fouled someone else during his brief stint on the court, resulting in two more free throws. He was only out there 3 minutes and committed 3 personal fouls. I hardly call that a success. And he was given a quick hook as well, so it couldn't have been that great of a performance.

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    3. What kind of fouls were they? Sometimes fouls are a good play, especially since Duncan can be inconsistent at the line. Also, why is James Jones covering Tim Duncan? He either fouled as the help ensuring Duncan earned his points instead of an easy layup or someone didn't rotate properly leaving Jones to cover Duncan (where a foul would be wise). That is, unless the fouls were stupid fouls? Didn't see it so I'm not sure.

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    4. Also, quick hook made sense. He racked up 3 fouls. Time to head to the bench.

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    5. In your pool, with a small possibility of a 4-1 Spurs win, I'd take LBJ G4, Bosh G5. That would be an unorthodox move though.

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    6. Also don't think +/- numbers really relate to anything relevant. LeBron James was a -21 (worst of any Heat player) yet had the best game out of any Heat player (34 PRA). Mario Chalmers was only a -2 player, do you see him being a brilliant success in that game in his 22 minutes?
      I don't quite know how James Jones managed to post +4 either, but when he was on the court and contributed to their -21 point halftime deficit, which is essentially where this game was decided. All of the other single digit minute heat players played very briefly during garbage time.

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    7. Taong,

      That's not really how I do it. Best player almost always saved for elimination games. Usually the best PRA is scored in elimination games by the superstars. They tend to step up in a big way when their teams are backed into a corner.

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    8. The Heat were awful in this game, playing zero defense and were torched. Jones' fouls could have been making up for someone missing their assignment. It is hard to tell on that, so I can agree with what you are saying in that regard. Most players are not expected to pick up 3 fouls in 3 minutes on the court. But with the way the Heat were playing on defense (or not playing at all actually), they were a complete mess at that time of the game.

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    9. James Jones might have been covering up for Chris Bosh, who was missing in action throughout this entire game, both offensively and defensively. (9 points and 3 rebounds is not good from Bosh at all).

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    10. I definitely agree. +/- is very limited at best. He was +4 because LeBron was scoring while he was out. My point is more that playing somebody for 2 minutes doesn't really qualify as an absurd, idiotic move, and certainly was not really a significant part of why they lost. He played six minutes the game before, so he plays a little bit.

      Taong, while LeBron in Game 4, Bosh in Game 5 makes sense between those guys, don't forget that Daytona also has Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. I also think we should pick assuming a Game 6 for the best results, and deal with a possible 4-1 when the time comes, as long as you are willing to live with potentially losing a guy. I'd go Bosh, Duncan, LeBron and Manu. Can't go wrong with that.

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    11. Oh! You still have four Big3s!

      Well then, G4 Duncan, G5 Bosh, G6 Manu, G7 LBJ. If elim game early, bump LBJ in.

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    12. Taong,

      Just out of the sake of curiosity, why would you pick every one of those players that I still have remaining on the road? Especially Manu Ginobili, who has proven to be much better at home than on the road.

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    13. Tangent,

      Depending on how this series goes, I was leaning towards:

      Bosh in Game #4 (reluctantly), Manu/Duncan in Game #5, LeBron in Game #6, and the other of Manu/Duncan in Game #7 (if we get there).

      Definitely should know reasonably well how long this series is going after tonight's game.

      Also Chris Bosh especially, and Mario Chalmers vanishing acts in Game #3, and the Heat's total lack of playing any defense in the first half was the reason why the Heat were annihilated in Game #3. James Jones at worst was only in their for 6 points of their 21 point first half deficit. So I do agree with you as far as the blame goes for the loss. And the Spurs led by Kawhi Leonard completely outplayed the Heat in that game.

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    14. Well u wanted LBJ in elim game, and you dont have any other Heat player better than these Big3s

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    15. And Bosh still plays well in Texas

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    16. That's true Bosh does play well in Texas. Manu Ginobili not always too great on the road though.

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  10. who thinks leonard is going to have a repeat performance, or at least 25+ PRA??

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    1. 25+pra I would say is a good possibility...
      ...but not nothing near just straight 29pts scored ....

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  11. Ah, there it is again. Third time this year where I decide between two players, pick one and the other goes off like nobody´s business. I picked Duncan after back-to-back 34s and he only had 22 in a blowout. Kawhi Leonard on the other hand scored 16 points in the first quarter alone, led all scorers and is the pick-of-the-night.

    That changes my plan slightly. I don´t think he will come even close to that outing in the next game, whereas LeBron will rise to the occasion in a must-must-must-win game for the Heat. Even if it´s another blowout I expect James to stay in a long time and go crazy.

    Or not.

    Wouldn´t surprise me, really.

    Right now the plan is James in G4, if series is 2-2, then Green in G5 and Leonard in G6, if Spurs go up 3-1 (unlikely but possible) then Leonard in G5.

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  12. Am I the only one here that would be going with Leonard for tomorrow? I was a day late for picking him (went with Wade in G3) and I doubt that he would reach 29 points again. Leonard for 3% is definitely a COLD PICK!

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    1. Some have him lined up for G5 @home, and some are just burning thru their good Heat picks for G4. Unless you have a better pick not named LBJ, Leonard should be good for G4.

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    2. Congratz on that Leonard pick :D

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  13. I have LBJ, Diaw, and Danny Green left. Sitting in the top 10 in the world. Decisions, decisions....no pressure only a shot of a new ride on the line. : )

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    1. Look at what the rest of the top ten have left. Which one are you?

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    2. Alright Matt Stiles. Good news is 8 of the top 10 already used LBJ. 8PRAs behind you is Aytokratwr who also has LBJ and Green left (no Diaw). It will now come down to when you two pick LBJ. I am betting one of you will pick him in G4 @home, get the lead, and then protect it by going hot with the Green pick on G5.

      Take a look at the rest of top20, just in case someone else also has LBJ plus Wade.

      Anyways, tactics for the prize is something I want to take my hands off. You two should know by now how to handle this.

      Good luck guys!

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  14. Well, I'm sticking with Ginobili for tonight's game....
    ...
    Of course I like to go COLD, everyone knows this.
    ...Though listen to this.
    ......................Another strategy I use.
    I normally don't pick a player who just came off a REALLY good game, because they hardly duplicate that in back to back games. Unless your a SUPER STAR like LBJ or an MVP like Durant(smirk)
    ...
    Take a look at Ginobili's PRA stats thus for an the contest.
    ...
    G1 28, 14 High/low
    G3 28, 10 High/low
    G5 25, 23, 1 of 3 times he had back/back games of similar score
    G7 06, 16 Coming off G6 23pra(high) he goes low with 6pra low
    G9 23, 18 High/low
    G11 28, 05 High/low
    G13 29, 26 2/3 similar
    G15 32, 25 3/3 similar
    G17 15 ?? I can only imagine he does MUCH better in this game!
    ........He has never gone from low to LOWER ...
    ...
    That being said I expect him to get at least 25 or better....and beat his average of 22.....
    ....
    Then I will use DWade in SA.... Regardless if MIA wins tonight or not G5 WILL be JUST as important to MIA as tonight's....
    ...
    Also DWade HAS gone LOW/LOW 3 times coming off a HIGH...
    ...and I expect LBJ to go big tonight. This means to me that he will not be as friendly to pass the ball as much(more touches) AND this means to me that other players will have LESS touches on the ball giving them lower pra ....
    ...
    My 2 cents...
    ...
    btw Goooooooooooooooooaaaaaaal oh sorry.. just warming up !! :)

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    1. On the flip side I'm apt to pick a player who just came off a bad game... Looking for them to bounce back...

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  15. I'll reluctantly go with Chris Bosh of the Heat tonight @ home in Game #4. Hopefully he doesn't have another dismal game, and can get far higher than the 12 PRA disaster he put up in Game #3. Really hoping for more like 25+ PRA out of him tonight. Also hoping that Dwyane Wade doesn't explode for more than 28+ PRA either tonight, since I now have already used him.

    Miami should rebound as well tonight and should post the win. They certainly can't play much worse than they did in Game #3, that's for sure.

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    1. People were talking how he only got a few touches in Game 3. Hopefully for you, he gets more touches in Game 4 now that only 1 Spur true big is no the floor at a time.

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  16. Lineup notes: (rotowire.com)

    Normal lineups for both teams except that both Boris Diaw (Spurs) and Rashard Lewis (Heat) will continue to start at PF for both teams.

    So if you need an extra player to pick, now is an opportunity to pick Rashard Lewis as a starter once again (and at home).

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    1. Excellent, Rashard Lewis is my pick! At least he is still starting, so he has the opportunity to succeed!

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    2. Thanks Daytona for the lineup update!

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    3. happy to help

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  17. I was thinking Diaw and Wade for G3 and 4 but wasn't sure about the order. I initially was going to go with Wade then Diaw but switched the order because Wade was picked most in G3 (he initially was picked most in G4 but at a lower % before LBJ climbed over him). Of course I switched to the wrong combination and those who believe DW will not do anything are correct! If you think it was bad having only 8 at the half, try 2 after 1 quarter, Talk about invisibility! When he miraculously got 20 in the 2nd half of G3, I got screwed because he used a lot of PRA in the game before I used him probably won't reach that tonight, but I still took him because I had no better options left, then again, I never thought he'd be this bad. Indiana still has it's effect long after being eliminated.

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  18. @half
    ..........Ginobili 7pra :(
    ..........DWade 6pra....

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    1. This is awful and I'm sure I won't get a lucky 20 in the 2nd half from Wade like G3 Wade picks did.

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    2. plus this may be a blowout and a sit-down for the 4Q

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  19. The Miami Heat are unbelieveably awful tonight. Actually that is two games in a row that they are completely noncompetitive.

    And Chris Bosh could you even try to get a freaking rebound. You are getting absolutely destroyed out there by Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the Spurs team. Well actually the entire Heat team is getting destroyed out there, Bosh is just part of the entire problem, which is that the Spurs really want to win this game, and Miami has no interest in winning this game. And it shows!

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    1. Should Spo sit his guys in 4th quarter? Can't risk injury.
      Let them feel the pain for 12 minutes, and have them channel the anger for G5.

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  20. End of 3rd
    ....................Ginobili 7pra :( SAME!
    ....................DWade 9pra.... +3 woohooooooo :)
    Awesome

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    1. G3 Wade + G4 Diaw 54
      G3 Diaw + G4 Wade 33
      Just unbelievable -21 on another 2 game combination that goes completely wrong! Wade looks like he's 80!

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  21. End of game
    ....................Ginobili 10pra :(
    ....................DWade 16pra....
    ....
    Just to think I COULD have taken DWade and earned SIX more pra's
    .....
    Just sad...

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  22. Miami is playing out of sync and its obvious that they are physically and mentally tired after four straight finals appearances. Congrats Spurs Nation

    However, my boy Kawhi showed up again! He plays really well in on the road and did not disappoint!

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    1. thanks taong! going with Duncan for the elim game. I think you'll go with Mills?

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    2. Haha no. Mills is tempting given his Game 4 results. But I got Green next :)

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  23. WAS/IND G1 Stephenson + G2 West 33
    G1 West + G2 Stephenson 53
    BKN/MIA G4 Johnson + G5 Williams 48
    G4 Williams + G5 Johnson 70
    MIA/SA G3 Diaw + G4 Wade 33
    G3 Wade + G4 Diaw 54
    Guess which 3 combinations I took!

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    1. All of the lowest ones... 33, 48 and 33 lol

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    2. That is absolutely true, and the only trick (which was an accidental trick) was putting an exclamation mark instead of a question mark. That is a combined net loss of -63! lol

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    3. If it's any consolation I can PROMISE you D-Wade will do better than a 16pra for ME next game ...
      ...
      btw *hug*

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    4. Drive to the Finals hope has come and passed
      The innocent can never last
      wake me up when The Finals end!

      like my pick's invisible path
      seven weeks has gone so fast
      wake me up when The Finals end!

      here comes the blame again
      falling from the bricks
      drenched in my shame again
      becoming what we got

      as my disappointment rests
      but never forgets the mistakes I made
      wake me up when The Finals end!

      Drive to the Finals hope has come and passed
      The innocent can never last
      wake me up when The Finals end!

      ring out the bells again
      like we did when the playoffs began
      wake me up when The Finals end!

      here comes the blame again
      falling from the bricks
      drenched in my shame again
      becoming what we got

      as my disappointment rests
      but never forgets the mistakes I made
      wake me up when The Finals end!

      Drive to the Finals hope has come and passed
      The innocent can never last
      wake me up when The Finals end!

      like my father's come to pass

      forty-two picks have gone so fast
      wake me up when The Finals end!
      wake me up when The Finals end!
      wake me up when The Finals end!

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    5. And I was saying I dodged a cannon ball when Wade got 19 in one of the games against the Pacers only to get unbelievably worse mark.

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    6. Nice !!!!
      ...
      I would have never dreamed I would only get 10 when I finally played Ginobili.... I got Wade next ... !! lol

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    7. aceee06, well you seem to be doing quite okay singing Green Day even after this. hehe!

      topknox, just tough luck. you got d-wade for a bounce back elimination series-saving game. should be something to look forward to.

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