Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs tips off tonight at 8 p.m. Central time, and should be a nail biter all the way to the finish. The feeling out process is over, both teams know what they have to do, now it's time to go get the job done.
For the Spurs, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili, all played poorly in the teams’ 103-84 blowout loss in game two on Sunday. That most certainly will not be the case again tonight. Ginobili has struggled for the majority of the playoffs, so he is still a concern, but Parker and Duncan should have huge bounce back games tonight.
For the Heat, as always, it all starts with LeBron James. The four time MVP has been held in check on the scoring side thus far in the series, averaging just 17.5 points per game thus far in the Finals, and has struggled to find his shot. However, he has found other ways to dominate the game, whether it be with his passing, rebounding, or as Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter found out, his defense. I expect the Spurs to again hold LeBron in check from a scoring aspect, and think it will be up to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Mario Chalmers to provide a scoring spark for the Heat tonight if they are going to come away with the road victory.
With the next three games all in San Antonio, the advantage is clearly in their favor to win the series. It would be a major shocker if the Heat could take two of three on the road, so chances are they are looking at a 3-2 deficit heading back to Miami at best, unless they can find a way to steal one tonight. Tonight is bigger for the Heat than it is for the Spurs. Tonight is the night where LeBron James has to try and will his team to victory at any cost. Tonight is huge in so many ways, for so many reasons. So who wins it?
Miami has been excellent after losses thus far this postseason, but not so great after wins, especially huge wins. I expect that trend to continue tonight, and expect the Spurs to take the 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4. The home crowd, the energy of the Spurs, and their ability to always bounce back and come up with a new strategy after a loss gives them the edge tonight. 94-90 Spurs.