Or you just had TimeLord slapping away Jimmy’s attempt while being several feet away….
That TL not only made the block but busted his ass chasing the loose ball, got around Jimmy (despite giving up a bit
of acceleration), and ended up laying out to try and keep the ball from going out of bounds and get a turnover out of it, was my favorite play of the night. TL has spent the last 8 months playing at least a little scared of re-injury. Last night he unleashed his inner no-fear Marcus Smart, on occasion. If he hadn't bitten on a few fakes (which the entire team was good about in general, but not perfect), he'd have had a real throwback TL classic game. As it was, he was a big plus.
This is my point. I think if Vincent is primary on initiating the offense, he protects the ball better and thus fewer steals.
This is absolutely true. The difference in ball security from Vincent to Lowry was jump-off-the-screen obvious last night. One of the Heat's superpowers is awareness of a coming steal attempt and being smart about it, for every player on their team not named Bam Adebayo. Lowry just doesn't seem to have that awareness right now.
Speaking of ball security, I think Jaylen only had one "oh god he's gonna get stripped" play last night, a welcome change. Whatever Miami's normal plans are for generating all the steals (and thus fast breaks) that they do, the only thing that worked last night was Jimmy jumping the guard-to-guard passing lane a few times. We've clearly drilled to avoid certain patterns and it paid off.
Cs hit 7 more threes, and six more free throws, than the Heat. Combined with seven fewer turnovers, that's the ballgame. Rebounds, assists, and shooting percentage were all basically even.
It seemed like they were giving the Heat some of their own medicine - conceding some twos so they could win the math problem at the three point line and doing everything they could not to foul.
Seems like the series is really coming down to which offense can generate and hit threes at a higher rate.
The effort made to not foul was much more noticeable than in games 1 and 2, when it seemed like we'd fall for everything, and Jimmy was grifting as if his last name was Trump. Yeah, we gave up a few baskets on shots we might have altered with more aggressive close-outs, but it seems like the narrow space between "contest the shot, just don't let them have a straight look at the basket" and "close out so hard you might foul" has been found.
This is 95% of the job when coaching a good NBA team: getting the players to play with focused intensity.
This is true for Miami too: Spo is mostly out of cutesy tricks. He needs Jimmy and Bam to play way better if they want to close this out.
The defensive plan for Bam was incredibly obvious last night. Keep him 8+ feet away from the basket, be willing to contest vertically but not aggressively, even if he gets some open looks, and as soon as he picks up his dribble, send help
and try to force a steal. Smart and Tatum were treating him like a G-leaguer out there in terms of disrespecting his ball security. He just doesn't think fast enough when the help is coming, and he panics and loses it a shocking fraction of the time. Grant was good at that, TL was better, but in combination Bam had ZERO free throws. It's not his 10-footers that will get ya, it's his and-1s and dunks.
What I couldn't discern was why Butler was so much less involved. We know Jimmy will take the 3 if you dare him to, but is generally looking to get downhill. Other than a few fast breaks, though, it didn't look like he had the juice to get inside, and I don't know why. Were we sending help to wall him off, and he wasn't finding the open guy? Were we stopping his midrange jumpers somehow? Denying him the ball? He was 5-for-10, vs Martin's 12 FGAs, Robinson's 10 (he was 7-of-10, christ), shit Highsmith had 9 FGAs, almost as much as Jimmy. His picture was basically on a milk carton last night, by his standards, and I don't know how we did it.
edit: the "why do we only ever see fan-speak exhortations in a timeout huddle" thing was covered, nevermind