Now Or Never

A Manu Ginobili sighting! After Spo adjusted and started Mike Miller in Game 4 for the win, Pop started Ginobili in Game 5 with great results. A double-double outing of 24 points and 10 assists. He certainly responded well, and in good timing! At 7% owned, he was the steal of the game. He is the hot pick among Spurs in Tuesday's Game 6.

Danny Green continued his lights-out shooting with 24 points and shattered the Finals record for most three points made (and with at least one more game to play). He looks very confident out there; let's see if the raucous crowd in Miami cools him off.

Those two took the spotlight, but Tony Parker and Tim Duncan had 30+ PRAs as well. Parker seemed like someone without an injury, and Duncan operated under the radar. Expect both to have the same effort in Game 6, if not greater.

Leonard Kawhi is the model of consistency, gaining 25 PRA. If you pick him in Game 6, you'll know what you'll get.

Gary Neal however had 4 PRA. 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, all in 21 minutes. I am sure that stat line disappointed the many who picked him. But dig this -- when he was on the floor in Game 5, the Spurs outscored the Heat by 17 points! That's the second highest +/-, next to Ginobili. I guess those hockey assists served the Spurs well. In DTTF, he is my best player remaining, and I am confident he'll have his minutes. He gets my pick in Game 6.

LeBron James was his usual amazing self. The Spurs are a demon of his past he has to purge and he will be looking to rectify that in Game 6. And 7! I am sure he is wishing that. (Note: I can't imagine the Spurs as demons; they're lovable!)

Ray Allen actually had the greatest game of this postseason with 21 points and a perfect 4 for 4 from the trey. Game 5 was the perfect timing for his pick (much like Ginobili). He better be the same next game. He is the hottest pick for Game 6.

Chris Bosh got an average 23 PRA. I guess Texas got too old already. It's good that most of you picked him already in Games 3 and 4. I am not sure if Game 6 will be a brighter game for him.

Dwyane Wade had 39 PRA and performed well in Game 5 like he did in Game 4. Here's hoping The Flash have the same level of urgency in Game 6 because he is my best remaining player in 1-N-Done. He gets my pick there.

As for the rest of the Heat, they have to appear sometime soon, right? The Big Three can't do this alone, not with the Spurs' supporting cast doing so well.

The Heat can still win this. Winning two in Miami is not so farfetched. They just need to win Game 6. And they are favored to win Game 6.

And certainly favored for Game 7!

That is why the Spurs have to treat Game 6 like it's now or never! They cannot win Game 7. They must win Game 6!

This may be it boys and girls! Put your best remaining player forward. Don't wait for Game 7.


  1. I would disagree with some of your writing (but I don´t, because you are doing well and I am not).

    I mean, look at the series. The Heat were favored before the start. Then the Spurs win and are the favorites. Then the Heat win in a rout and the Spurs look finished. Then the Spurs clobber the Heat and you can start preparing for the parade. Then the Heat win with an exclamation mark and are poised to repeat as champions. Now the Spurs win and are a sure-fire bet for champions.

    That only shows us that the Heat will win game 6 and afterwards will be the odds-on favorites for game 7, where the Spurs will come forward and take it. The Heat haven´t lost back-to-back since the middle of January, but they haven´t won back-to-back since May 22nd. That´s nearly a full month.

    With all that said, I will pick Norris Cole over Gary Neal, because Cole plays at home and in the Finals so far liked a change of scenery with 10+ outings in games 1 and 3. Neal is on the road and that´s enough for me not to pick him. If he play well, all the better.

    For game 7, my sinister plan kicks into gear. I have Parker logged in for game 7. I used the same tactic in 2011, saving LeBron for a game 7 that never came, because the Mavs won in 6. I took one for the team. Now, it´s more of the same. If there is a deciding game, I have one of the MVP-candidates ready. If there isn´t, I will have lost TP´s production for my campaign, but I will be happy the Spurs would have done it in 6. If that´s the price to pay, then so be it.

    Also, I am so far behind, even a big night by TP wouldn´t save me. Green put me slightly over 1100 pts, not much more for me this year after that disastrous first round.

    1. Ah I remember that sacrifice-LeBron-for-a-Mav-win, and I have never thanked you for it.
      Yes yes, you certainly earned the right to do that again with Parker and the Spurs. And I support you.

      Just don't do it boys and girls. Alex is the exemption.

      Go Spurs!

  2. I still have Mario Chalmers and Gary Neal. I'm going with chalmers because of his higher average PRA and also the fact that he didn't shoot well last game and I believe he'll prove himself when the heat need him the most in game 6. What do you think?

    1. Their series average are almost at par. It's a close one.
      Chalmers at home is the deciding factor. So yeah, go ahead with Chalmers.
      2011 Game 6 elimination game, Chalmers had 28 PRA.

  3. I'm going out on a limb (slightly) and saying the Spurs close this series out and take it in game 6. They've consistently won all the big pivot games and markers of the deciding champ by winning game 1, 3, and 5.

    Miami (LeBron at least) will come out firing and giving it everything they have...but at this point all the chess moves are out and both teams know everything the other is doing so it's all about execution and intangibles. The Spurs have the edge there. With Manu now a threat again, Green shooting the lights out and Leonard and Neal the Spurs just have too many weapons. I don't doubt Pop lets LeBron run wild and focuses on the supporting cast. Give LeBron 40 but hold Wade and Bosh to sub par games and keep guys like Miller and Allen out of rhythm and you've won the title.

    Miami just doesn't have enough weapons or the consistency to take this series.

    I'm down to Neal, Chalmers, Allen and the deep bench so I'm going with Allen. He won't have the game he had in game 5...but I don't see Neal doing much, Chalmers has nearly played himself out of the rotation and putting Miller in the starting lineup is a huge mistake (he doesn't have the legs to play that much D and get open for 3s - he hasn't hit a shot since he's been starting). Allen has the most incentive of any Heat player to have a big game. He gave up millions and drew the ire of Boston-nation for this title shot. No way he goes down without putting up a bunch of shots.

    No matter what I hope it's a competitive game - 3 blowouts and 1 near blowout in 5 games has not been fun too watch.

    Good luck everyone.

    1. Allen had the hindsight to see that his Celtics Big 3 had expired, as evident with this Garnett-Rivers-Clippers drama. He was right to move on. I am sure he has saved a lot of money already that Blue Chips don't matter anymore.

      His wisdom will be questioned if the Heat loses. He wanted a shot at another ring. Well he got the shot at least.

      I'd pick Allen too if not for me having Wade still. Especially that Game 5 display. This is the Allen that was missing in the Pacers series.

  4. Wish I had LeBron. Last time I picked him was whenHeat were down 2-3 to the Celtics and boy did he deliver. Tomorrow I'm going with Ray Allen because Neal night not get enough minutes.

    1. Neal will get his minutes, but Allen will be the more crucial of the two. Allen over Neal.

  5. I'm using Neal. I believe Heat will get a big lead causing Popavich to pull starters early & have them primed for Game 7. Heat looked tired & out of focus Game 5, won't happen again, at least not two games in a row.... IMO!!

    1. And assuming Neal is your best remaining player?

  6. Yeah, pretty much. Thought about using Birdman, but hasn't played in last 2 games. I feel he will play tonight though, but Neal will have better PRA. Hopefully!! Probably go Birdman or Haslam game 7. Really wish I had better players to choose from!!

    1. Neal over Birdman/Haslem, no contest.

      If Birdman starts Game 6, choose him for Game 7. Otherwise, Haslem Game 7.


  7. Wow. What a crazy game. Was super excited to see my prediction come thing you know SA makes a series of mistakes by missing 2 free throws - failing to grab 2 defensive rebounds...and letting Miami shoot a 3 instead of fouling (why most coaches don't do this I'll never know - I've never seen a team lose a game by doing it).

    Sad that the Heat's last couple stops where clearly no-call fouls. But game 7 here we come. Be interesting to see if SA uses this near win as motivation...or if they've awoke a sleeping giant.

    Shoulda picked Chalmers. Damn.

    1. Two Heat offensive rebounds nearing end of regulation. Duncan on bench. Tsk tsk.


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