|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAAfter completely melting down in the third and fourth quarters of their home game against the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat were hoping to pull out a win in San Antonio against the Spurs. But the top team in the Western Conference and the NBA shut down the Heat and cruised to a seemingly easy 125-95 victory.
While other losses have seen opponents of the Heat shutting down the lane, preventing their big 3 players from easy baskets, the Spurs took another approach. They effectively shut down the entire rest of the Miami team except for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, who were forced to carry the entire team. These three accounted for 62 of the Heat's 95 total points. Mike Miller also put up 12 points for Miami, leaving the entire rest of the team with only 21 points altogether.
In stark contrast, the Spurs had eight players who scored in the double-digit range. Manu Ginobili had 20 points, Matt Bonner put up 18, and Gary Neal had 16 points. Tony Parker put in 15 points, while both Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson had 11 points each. Coming off the bench, George Hill put in 11 more points, while DeJuan Blair finished with 10.
It was not a flashy win for the Spurs, a team that does not rely on a cult of personality to draw fans and create winning seasons. But it was a full-team effort from one of the most efficient teams in the league, who have the best record in the NBA at 51-11.
The Heat have now lost their third straight game, falling to 43-19. Their main weakness is that they have three phenomenal players who, if an opponent shuts down their main avenues to score inside the paint, can not carry the team. Miami will take on the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, another elite NBA team against which they have yet to win.