NBA Finals Game 3: Miami Heat Preview

LBJ The Miami Heat bounced back from their disappointing loss in Game 1 with a win grind out victory in Game 2. Led by LeBron James’ 35 point and 10 rebound performance the Heat extended their playoff win streak after a loss to 13 games. As the series now shifts to Miami tied at 1-1, I will take a look at what to expect for tonight’s Game 3. In Game 2 the Heat made it a key to show the Spurs several different looks when defending the pick n roll. Whether it was trapping the ball handler or having the big show high the strategy kept the Spurs from getting comfortable. This helped limit the Spurs damage in the paint to just 34 points. It also allowed the Heat’s defense to stay organized and away from running out on shooters all nigh, which opened up both the paint and the 3-point line for San Antonio to do damage in Game 1. I expect Miami to do a lot of the same with the pick n roll defense tonight and for the rest of the series. At the same time, I believe coming home Miami will look to be more aggressive in the passing lanes. They will look to create turnovers and push tempo in order to get Wade and James dunks to get the crowd excited and loud. On the offensive end LeBron James and the Heat came out aggressive in Game 2 attacking the paint early and often. In fact, LeBron James did not take his first jump shot until his twelfth attempt which came in the third quarter. I fully expect Miami to come out with the same physicality and toughness that seemed to shake the Spurs. For the Heat Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole have struggled through the first two games, having virtually no impact on either end of the floor. However, Chalmers and Cole have their chance to make an impact and gain confidence in these next two games. Both players are the kind that feed of the crowds energy. As the crowd energy goes up so does their energy. I believe tonight we will see both of them be a factor. If the Heat can get Chalmers and Cole going the Spurs will have almost no chance. In this series Chris Bosh has been big time averaging 18 points and 6 rebounds on 59% shooting. Dwyane Wade, despite only 14 points in Game 2 he has been able to get every shot he wanted, when he wanted it. Ray Allen is shooting 52% from the field this series and Rashard Lewis has been big in spreading the floor.  Last but not least, LeBron James is averaging 30 points and 8 rebounds and has carried the Heat on his back whenever they needed him. So with all that said, getting Cole and Chalmers going would be the last pieces to get the Miami Heat running at maximum output. Game 3 is sure to be exciting and full of energy. I expecting the Heat to come tonight and take care of business on their home floor and extend their home record this playoffs to a clean 9-0.