Tag Archive: NBA Finals


Jason “Big J” Allen Prediction:

Heat win Game 7

Game 7!!!  but I’m still exhausted from Game 6.  Big Play and I watched Game 6 (shout out to Jack Daniel and BP hospitality) and I’m sad to report that was the Spurs one chance to close the door on the Big 3 in Miami.  Que up “Eye of the Tiger” for me because the LeBron we saw in the 4th and OT, that was demanding the ball and yelling at teammates for not giving him the rock (very Kobesque).  This final game will dictate the legacy of a King or the downfall of a Prince.  I’m with the Heatles showing up and taking care of business, but it won’t be Lennon or McCartney (LBJ or Wade), its going to be Harrison and Star (Chalmers, Miller, Allen, and Birdman Birdman).  Let’s not forget in close out games with the Heat the role players play their roles and shoot the lights out.  I see the same thing tonight.  Forget dinner with the players Pop, forget the pity party in the press conference, forget the Ray Allen saved LBJ legacy (I don’t hear anyone dissing The Dream, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan and etc when Robert Horry and Derek Fisher hit clutch lucky bounce shots so stop with the Ray Allen crap, LBJ don’t ball out in the 4th there is no need for a late 3 to tie), and forget the NBA is fixed talk (Spurs win LBJ is a choke artist, Heat win NBA is fixed give me a break people).  In the words of Jay-Z “We are about to WITNESS a Dynasty like no other” (well except Mr. Russell’s). I’m taking the Heat as the repeat NBA champions, Got 1, Got 2…  Now you just have 6 more to go LeBron!

What do you think let me know @UnsportsmenBigJ

Raymond “Big Play” Miller prediction:

Spurs win Game 7

So it comes down to this… 1 game… 48 minutes…  championship on the line.  Who wants it bad enough?  I know D. Wade will show up after having a bad Game 6 and Tony Parker will do the same.  Bosh did his thing last game (but we still don’t respect him after his comments to the fans or rather ticket holders) and Ginobili didn’t.  LeBron has to and WILL be LeBron (brother please keep that headband on MERCY!!!! didn’t know if that was LBJ or Joel Anthony on the court and shoutout to Hawk Harrelson).  Greg Popovich normally makes great adjustments after losses as we’ve seen in this series and Erik Spoelstra putting birdman, birdman back in the series gave the team some energy, which was great for the home crowd early.  However, I believe this game will come down to x-factors who between Mike Miller and Gary Neal will be the difference in the game. My head tells me this is easy Mike Miller and Heat win going away right; but this series hasn’t been that way, GUT FEELING Neal is the difference and Timmy!!! and Pop win ring #5

Just my thoughts right or wrong tell me what you think @bprunsportsmenm

Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas prediction:

Spurs win Game 7

Does LeBron James have a heart of a champion?  That  anwser  all depends on how LeBron handles the pressure in game 7.  I wrote an article stating that LeBron may not be the one (LeBron James more Mr. Anderson than NEO).  Its not about the headband or Ray Allen saving his legacy, its about how aggressive can LeBron be by attacking the basket.  If LeBron is passive or settling for jump shots then you can’t expect the rest of the team to carry him or the Heat to win.  The Spurs want it more than the Heat, is just the feeling I get.  After Game 6 the Spurs decided to have a dinner together to clear the air and to talk about what happen and what is expected for the team.  Now you know the Heat are not going to do that.  I’m not saying in order to win a championship your  team has to go out to dinner with each other, but it still builds team chemistry.  On that note Heat fans should be more worried about LeBron anxiety instead his headband. I’m taking the Spurs.

I’m just saying, but what say you @coolreece15

We are missing the old man of the group James “JD” Davis, but maybe I will update this with his take in an hour or so.  We all will be watching the game so feel free to tweet and harrass us.  Here’s to a Great Game 7! UnSportsMen Mic Crew

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After Game 6 we should be All Hail the King.  Except for 3 quarters LeBron refused to show up.  Lose the headband and enter the Cape.  Yes LeBron became a superhero all in one quarter.  We will excuse the 2 or 3 turnovers down the stretch, we will excuse the deferring to Wade when he reentered the game, hell I will just totally excuse majority of this series when it comes to King James.  Why you ask?  Because I had an epiphany last night while watching the game.  Maybe LeBron James is a Great player not an All-Time Great Player!

Now if your computer/phone/pad or whatever you are reading this on is still working because you spit out a beverage on it from shock, let me explain.  What if LeBron is just (and I use JUST very lightly when it comes to these people) Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor, James Worthy, or Clyde Drexler Great?  These players are some of the 50 greatest to play the game, so there is no dishonor in that, but we have compared LBJ to the best to EVER to play the game.  We put him on the level of His Airness, Larry Legend, Magic, Wilt, Mr. Sky-Hook, The Logo, and Mr. Russell.  Maybe just maybe he is not in that caste.

I question this notion not because of the talent, physical ability, stats, and accomplishment, but I question this because of what he sometimes lacks from the shoulders up.  The Mentality is what I question.  Can you imagine MJ disappearing for quarters on end in the Finals?  Bird and Johnson have lost Finals but yet they were still an impact in each and every quarter and game.  That is the mentality they have/had they refused to ever be eliminated from a game and if they were taken out of  their game they went down swinging.  Even Kobe Bryant has that will to win at any cost, sometimes to the detriment of his team and teammates.

 I have just seen to many times with LeBron his impact on the game being nullified.  A huge bulk of his problems deal with his limited offensive repertoire.  Teams that play team defense give LeBron fits, because LeBron basically has 3-4 offensive moves.  The dribble pull up for 3, the drive to the lane layup, and the short jumper in the paint.  He has no real shake or bake, no comfortable spot or shot he can go to when the chips are down.  This lends itself to LeBron being unsure of himself and killing his psyche in stretches of games.  These David Cooperfield like disappearances in games is what separates All-Time to just Great.

Would there ever be a question of who is the leader of the team with an All-Time great on it?  No, but when Barry Allen (or Wally West) decides to be Flash again, it becomes D. Wade’s team, Period!   We have seen clips of LeBron being vocal and trying to lead, but how much of that do we really believe or buy into?  There should never be a question of who is Batman and who is Robin.  When West joined the Lakers it became his team over Baylor.  Clyde joined the Rockets it was The Dream team no questions asked.  We knew it was Dr. J team when he was on the Sixers with Moses Malone.  When an All-Time Great is on your team they are the leaders, even when there is a Great player on the team too.  Yet in LeBron’s case we still have questions to who is the real leader of the Heatles.  Sounds more like Great not All-Time.

We have touted LeBron as the Greatest Player on the Planet.  I just think the mental toughness, and over all passion to lead and win is something LeBron wants, but doesn’t know how to manifest.  So maybe we should stall all the G.O.A.T. talk and focus on what he is, a Great player chasing Greatness, and right now the jury is still out if LeBron will land in the top 5 or top 50 of Greatest Basketball players.  Remember every King wasn’t the greatest some Kings are just…  Good.

Jason “Big J” Allen

@UnsportsmenBigJ

By: Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas

Follow me @CR_Unsportsmen

LeBron James reminds me of Neo in the Matrix Trilogy. From the beginning of his career everyone knew he was the ONE, except for him.  His early years he was Mr. Anderson, not Neo.  In the 2011 Finals Agent Smith finally got him and killed Mr. Anderson, but it was needed so LeBron could be reborn in the 2012 Finals as Neo and realized he was “The One”.  This year LeBron has been playing like he is “The One”, but just like the Matrix Trilogy Agent Smith returned, but Agent Smith is no NBA opponent, Agent Smith is LeBron’s LEGACY and GREATNESS!

Since last year in the  2012 NBA Finals Lebron James had that killer instinct, attack mode.  You could see that drive and confidence written all over his face. All the LeBron haters had to keep their mouths closed.  Now in this year’s NBA Finals has the pressure of being Great started to erode him?  Has Agent Smith started to multiple and become a bigger force?  After Game 3 it seems that way, Neo is being cornered and has no where to run or fly away.  LeBron’s biggest nemesis is himself.

I keep hearing about the Spurs defense or Wade being hurt, or even the experience of Popovich and the Spurs’ Big 3, child please, everyone stop it!  Its Lebron! I saw it in the Pacer series in Game 1 even though the Heat won LeBron to me looked unsure of himself.  In my opinion Lebron James is scared of failing.  Lets face it LeBron had only became a finisher last year.  Remember the 2009 game winning three in Game 2 against the Orlando Magic.  You would have thought LeBron was just a fan who won a 2500 dollar check during halftime.  Even he was shocked that it went in.  When the going gets tougher it seems LeBron is very passive or shook!  Or it could be that if he can’t drive to the basket he begins to fold.  If LeBron can’t see inside “The Matrix” he becomes ordinary, and Agent Smith starts to take over.  Eventually we all hope LeBron can live up to the savior we were all told he would become.  Maybe he will but I don’t see it happening this year Spurs in 5.

Maurice "Cool Reece" Thomas @CR_UnSportsMen

Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas
@CR_UnSportsMen

We got another BLOW OUT!  Really NBA Finals, David Stern you can’t even rig the game to be more competitive.  Hell even Roger Goodell cut the lights in the SuperDome so the Super Bowl wouldn’t be a blow out.  Now back to reality of the Game 3 debacle, just like Game 2 this recap will be easy.  I wrote an article last week called “Game 1 cost the Pacers the Series” and this series is following suit, but the Spurs won Game 1 and since then we have seen the Coaching Chess match between the Jedi Master (Pop) and the Jedi Knight (I know you want to call Spoelstra a Padawan or Youngling, but give the man respect.)  Game 3 was definitely a recover from a Spoelstra “check” in Game 2.  Now on to the breakdown:

In Game 2 I mentioned how Spoelstra went to a small line up on the Spurs to give LeBron mismatches, well Popovich took the strategy and spun it on Spoelstra.  He let the Heat run the small line up and instead of adjusting he basically said “LeBron beat us with a jumper.”and since we are not going small against you we will dominate the boards after the LeBricks.  Now Popovich was even more disrespectful to Wade and basically gave Wade what we call in the hood a “self check”.  Basically giving Wade all space and no respect because Popovich feels Wade CAN’T beat them.  The Heat have been a terrible mid range shooting team all year.  Don’t let the shooting percentage fool you, those shoots were mainly in the paint.

Now we all know the real story of the game was Neal and Green shooting the lights out.  Now I don’t expect them to ever have games like that again, but WOW what a display.  The Heat had a refusal to close out shooters.  With a hobbled Tony Parker the cut and dish was not going to be effective but since Miami decided to let shooters shoot, they got shot out the game and gym.  Still let’s give a shout to the MVP of the Heat right now, Mike “I’m always injured until the Finals” Miller, he was the peasant that tried to save the King, but had no help.

Now a couple of non coaching moves that disappointed me with Spoelstra. The continued reliance on Chalmers was embarrassing, he was a turnover machine, didn’t push the tempo, and he was allowing penetration which was setting up the 3 point barrage from the Spurs.  I also thought he should have thrown LeBron on Parker to stop penetration and just had the wing defenders deny the shooters.  Another suggestion is after you realized that the Spurs were going to make the Heat a jump shooting team, he should have adjusted the line up.  Sit LeBron for a few minutes and go all shooters (Allen, Miller, Battier, Cole, and Bosh) and let LeBron see that he has to penetrate and kick out to shooters.  Then sub LeBron in for Battier and let those shooters try to get them back in the game.  Now I know defensively they would have been suspect, but you have to change it up when your getting destroyed.  Now all of this is for nothing if LeBron wakes up and realizes that he is the best player in the world and get over the fact that he has no help or rather elite help.  Wade is beat and Bosh is just mentally not there and it is showing in his game.

So here’s to a competitive Game 4!  Let’s see what Spoelstra has up his sleeve, because right now Popovich is up 2-1.  Side note is it me or does Popovich remind me of Darth Sidious/Palpatine.  He sits in the press conference and praises LeBron and how great he is and how dumb the rest of the world is, very Palpatine.  Then he gets to the game and the hood comes over and he disses Doris Burke, shoots lightening out of his fingers and laughs all the way to victories.

Jason “Big J” Allen

@UnsportsmenBigJ

“If I ain’t better than Big I’m the closest one ” Jay-Z

You can take this anyway, sub “Big” with Michael Jordan and then you would have Kobe Bean Bryant’s legacy.  Last night “The World’s Greatest Basketball Player On The Planet” was a total no show.  So it begs the question, “WWKD” what would Kobe do?

I’m not a huge Kobe fan but I respect the Black Mamba.  When you have a chance to win a championship and your the #1 (LeBron James) guy for your team numbers go out the door it’s about mindset. The mindset that everyone in the building, players, fans, and coaches know that I’m the best player in the gym and I’m about to take this damn game over. 

I felt that Lebron had that chance in the beginning of the 2nd half to do just that.  Neal hit that big 3 pointer to get the Spurs and fans excited going into the half.  James needed to hurt their feelings coming out of the locker room, like the Mamba would.  Unfortunately, he came out like a Prince who was disinterested and upset about the efforts of Bosh and Wade.  Instead of getting in those guys faces LeBron showed them that the Heat are nothing without him (we’ve seen this Cleveland #DelonteWest #Gloria).

Kobe would’ve cursed them jokers out, he also would have forced his opponent to adjust to him instead of settling for jumpers.  Losing by 36 is not what kills me, it’s seeing a great player seem like he’s ok with having an average game.  At the end of the day to heck with being liked, your legacy is on the line.  Kobe wouldn’t and won’t let anyone dictate his legacy but him.  Even if that means snitching on Shaq, playing with Kwame Brown, pissing off Phil Jackson (and reuniting), or even shooting his team out of games.  At the end of the day that’s what the Mamba is and will always be.  If the Heat lose this series what will LeBron’s legacy be known for?  He might not even know from the way he played in Game 3.  So again ask in Game 3 WWKD?

Raymond “Big Play” Miller

@bprunsportsmenm

With Game 3 of Finals being played tonight in San Antonio the defending champion Miami Heat are looking to take back home court advantage in the series.  The Spurs have two of there big 3 playing but where is the Slashing Argentinian (i made that nickname up)Ginobili!!!!!! #CharlesBarkleyVoice.  Ginobili is avg 9.0pts so far and even worse only took 6 shots in Game 2.

Obviously, everything runs through Tony Parker who should take the majority of the shots but if the Spurs want to avoid getting blown out again they have to get Ginobili involved. I’m not being critical of Pop(currently one of the best in the game if not the best), but I feel that he needs to setup some back cuts and screens for Ginobili to get some easy looks at the basket, those moves may also get him to the line.  Some top of the key isloation plays where Ginobili can take advantage of Chalmers/Cole in the 4th quarter, because the King will be on Parker.  Once #20 gets some easy buckets he’ll regain his confidence and start to play like the man that helped the Spurs win multiple championships.

Again the Spurs won’t win this series without Ginobili.  Or if Pop decides to get his Erik Spoelstra on and sit Ginobili ala D. Wade, but I don’t think the Spurs have anyone else with enough talent to fit Ginobili’s production.  So they will live or die with GINOBILLLLI!!!!  (Again in Charles Barkley voice) and I think they live by him tonight.  My pick tonight is Spurs 101 Heat 97.

Raymond “Big Play” Miller

@bprunsportsmenm

It’s the NBA Finals and unless you are living under a rock we all know this series should and will be a Great ONE!  Is Duncan going to match Kobe in rings, and make an argument for having the best Dynasty of this Era (Move over Lakers).  Will the King get revenge on the Spurs sweeping him when he was just a Prince?  Either way this is a career finishing, or defining moment for whoever wins this series.  So I decided to go around what the experts are saying and see if I can pull some points that both teams would need to win.

Spurs ways to win:

Rebounding

The Spurs are a good rebounding team, and they will have to keep that trend up, because we all know the Heat are a lackluster rebounding team (looking at you Bosh).  Along with rebounding they have to revel in the aggressive play in the paint.  The Heat should be coming in a bit beaten and battered so continue the process and hope by Game 6 or 7 the Heat run out of fuel.

Make LeBron a scorer

We saw when LeBron has to carry the SCORING load aka go back to his Cleveland days, the Heat fall apart.  Yes make LeBron become Carmelo Anthony, no teammates involved and dribble, dribble, dribble.  The Spurs should be used to this blueprint, because they used it to sweep the Cavs in the Finals years ago.

Manu, Manu, Manu get off the Milk Carton

This one is easy, the Spurs need Manu to be Great, not good, but GREAT.  These playoffs Manu has shown up in sprinkles, yet this series that will not do.  If Manu can outperform Wade in this series, the Spurs will win.  Remember James and Parker will be a wash, Tim Duncan will basically make Bosh a wash so you need Manu to out perform Wade.  In Game 7 I feel the Heat rediscovered who they are and will bring in a more aggressive Wade, so Manu needs to do what he does best. Score, and frustrate opponents.

Heat Need To Win

Spoelstra needs to out coach Pop, or Better turn into Pat Reily

Erik Spoelstra has to show that he is “THE COACH” in this series.  He can not be out coached like he was in the Bulls and Pacers series.  Why?  Well the Spurs are a way better and polished team then the Pacers and Bulls.  They will take advantage of the bad coaching and bad positioning.  Spoelstra also needs to tap into his inner Reily, and promote strong paint defense, and rebounding.  Remember Reily’s saying “No Rebounding= No Rings”  Spoelstra has to live in that saying and get the Heat to buy in.

Heat Bench has to outplay Spurs bench

The Heat bench was M.I.A. (no pun) for most of the Pacers series, to bad the Pacers didn’t have a strong enough bench to take advantage.  Well the Spurs do, hell Pop benched his starters against the Warriors and the Spurs benched sparked a come back.  So I’m looking directly at you Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Norris Cole, and “Birdman Birdman” (thank you Shaq) Chris Anderson.  These guys have to out perform the Spurs bench and add an element to help the starters to get rest.  If LeBron has to play 44+ minutes a game in this series we will see a repeat of the Mavs vs Heat Finals when LeBron had nothing left in the tank.

Don’t make a Star out of a Non Big Three for the Spurs

What I mean by this, is we expect Duncan, Parker, and possibly Manu to go off and ball out.  At the end of the Finals if we are talking about the great performance of a Leonard, Splitter, Neal, Blair, or Bonner.  Don’t allow any of these player sot make a big four, or play well enough on defense to make on of the Heat big three disappear.  If I had to choose I would say be careful with Blair….  (that’s me letting everyone get all the laughing out)…  (you probably just looked up his numbers and realized he has rarely played in this series)…  (and now do you have control of yourself?  Good I will continue).  Blair has the body and aggressive post play that he can actually contribute in this series.  The Heat have shown they can’t deal with post players that can bang.  So again Heat don’t allow a Big Four to emerge for a Series.

Now these points are outside the box points that I think each team needs to win.  I reserve the right to switch up after each game.  What do you think of my outside the box points?

Jason “Big J” Allen

@UnsportsmenBigJ

 

 

So it is easy to look back in hindsight and say what someone should have done, but what the Pacers should have done was win Game 1.  Why??? Not because the Pacers could have taken a 1-0 lead, not because the Pacers get the home court back (they did win Game 2 so they got the home court back), and not to show the Heat who’s boss.  They needed to win Game 1 because they would have had the adjustment advantage for Game 7.

We can all agree that Frank Vogel out coached Erik Spoelstra whole series, but Spoelstra didn’t have to be perfect to win, he just needed to be able to respond to every aggressive chess move that Vogel made.  Vogel had the whole sporting community confused and actually thinking the Pacers were a better team than the Heat.  Ladies and Gentlemen let me assure you that the Heat were and are the better team in this series, but because of the extreme out coaching of Spoelstra, the Pacers looked like a Championship ready team.  Look at the line up man for man:

Starting PG

Hill

Chalmers

Pacers

Starting SG

Stephenson

Wade

Heat

Starting PF

West

Bosh

Tie

Starting C

Hibbert

Haslem/Bosh

Pacers

Frontcourt Bench

Hansbrough/Mahimi/ etc

Battier/Anderson/

Heat

Backcourt Bench

Augustin/ Green

Cole/Allen

Heat

Best player on team

George

James

Heat

You may not totally agree with who I said is better after watching the series but pound for pound Wade is better than Stephenson (watch Game 7 if you don’t believe), West and Bosh is a tie, Bosh averaged 18pts and 8reb in the regular season West averaged 15pt and 7rebs again a wash.  The Heat have the better superstar and the better bench.  So Heat won 4 out of 7 categories, and what closed the gap was Frank Vogel’s coaching.

Vogel did make a questionable coaching decision at the end of Game 1, and that cost him the series.  The whole series went tit for tat, and every time Vogel implemented a game plan sto stop whatever the Heat did he won, but by the time they reached game 7 it was Spoelstra’s turn, and Vogel didn’t have the luxury of adjusting a game plan.  Imagine if Vogel would have changed his Game 6 strategy going into Game 7 and the same outcome happened, in Game 7 (blow out).  We would have killed him for changing his plan from what worked in Game 6.  Instead Spoelstra had the luxury of going into Game 7 knowing what Vogel had planned.  So imagine if the Pacers won Game 1, then Heat adjust win Game 2, the Pacers adjust win Game 3, Heat adjust  win Game 4, eventually that would led to a Game 7 with Vogel having the adjustment advantage.

Now I don’t want to totally throw Spoelstra under the bus, because he made great adjustments for Game 7.  He took Wade off George and let James guard him the whole game (George fouled out and only had 7pts).  He also made the early offensive game plan to get Wade and Bosh involved because we all know James can get his whenever.  Getting Wade and Bosh involved early helped them be more active on the defensive end.   Another great strategy change was the Heat trapping and pressuring the ball handler.  This is great because the Pacers are not great ball handlers as a team, it slowed down their offensive sets so they didn’t have the whole shot clock to pound the ball down low, and lastly it allowed the smaller Heat post defenders to fight their way out of bad post positions.  Another great coaching adjustment for the Heat was immediately double teaming the ball in the post.  They never really let West and especially Hibbert get the ball in man to man situations, if you can find a major fault in Hibberts game besides inconsistency it would be that Hibbert is not a good passer out of the post, so he couldn’t take advantage of the double teams.  So again Spoelstra did his homework and came out with a game plan that led to a complete blow out in Game 7.

Going back to the main point if the Pacers win Game 1, all these adjustments for the Heat would have been in Game 6 and then the ball (no pun) would have been in Vogel’s court and we have seen that when he has the ball or plan on his side the Pacers typically get the victory.  Let’s be honest we really didn’t want to see the Spurs vs Pacers, everyone just wanted to see LeBron and the Heat lose.  So for the Haters enjoy the Finals, because you’re actually going to watch the Finals.  If Vogel manhandled Spoelstra like this, wait til he gets a load of Pop!

Jason “Big J” Allen

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