What to expect in game 7

Posted: 06/20/2013 by levcohen in Basketball

Game seven of the NBA finals is tonight. The only problem is… How can this game be better than the thriller that was game six? We’ll see.

Manu Ginobili contributes early… or sits for a majority of the game:
Ginobili was one of the factors that cost the Spurs game six. He committed eight turnovers, and missed a key free throw. The Spurs can’t afford to have that happen again. So Ginobili is either going to have to create and penetrate early, or he’ll have to sit, because there is no more time to worry about his confidence.

More of the effective Heat lineup:
By that I mean: Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Mike Miller, LeBron James, and Chris Anderson. I’d like to see 10-12 minutes of this group on the floor. That way, Bosh and Wade will still get to play about 35 minutes. This lineup is perfect. You have the best player in the world, a good ballhandler, lots of energy, and great three point shooting.

Continued Kawhi Leonard breakout:
Kawhi Leonard’s expression never changes, and maybe that is part of the reason that he is still so underrated. On the game’s biggest stage, he is the Spurs third best player, and perhaps the fourth best player on the floor. He is the most explosive player on the Spurs, and played a team leading 46 minutes in game six. Expect more of the same in game seven.

Ray Allen will again play more minutes than Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh:
Let’s face it: Allen is the best fit to play with LeBron on this team. He is a mature veteran, but even more, he is an unselfish one. Oh, and he can spread the floor, seeing as he is the best shooter of all time and hit the tying three pointer on Tuesday.

A tired, but effective Tony Parker:
Tony Parker was not effective in game six. But this is game seven of the NBA finals. Parker played 43 minutes in game six, and might need to do that again. I think he’ll be up to it.

Danny Green and Gary Neal combine for more than eight points in 65 minutes:
This isn’t a bold prediction, but it needs to happen. These guys have been terrific in the finals, but they didn’t do well in game six. Realistically, for the Spurs to win, they’ll need to combine for at least 20 or 25 points.

Heat play eight players again:
It worked in game six. So I’m going out on a limb and saying that we won’t be seeing much, if any, of Udonis Haslem and Norris Cole, among others.

Chris Bosh doesn’t score much.. But continues to play inspired defense:
Based on the stat line, Chris Bosh didn’t play very well. And I guess that’s kind of true. But in the second half and in overtime, he was a beast defensively, holding Tim Duncan basically listless and playing terrific pick and role defense. He also stopped Danny Green’s potential game tying shot at the end of overtime.

Tim Duncan is not the Spurs leading scorer:
Duncan scored 30 in game six. I don’t think he will lead the Spurs again in game seven. It’s just a gut feeling.

Prediction: Spurs- 108, Heat- 102.. I’m going down with the ship. Go Spurs!

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