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Morning Shootaround: NBA Finals Game 3

By Jeff Koch on June 10, 2013.

This is the most important game of the season.

(Until the next one, of course.)

When NBA Finals are tied 1-1, Game 3 is often the pivot game. Since adopting the 2-3-2 format, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win the series all but once, 11 out of 12 times in total. (Ironically, the away team has a much better record in these games: 9-3.)

So the outcome of this game will go a long way to setting the narrative and drying the ink on the story. Despite the numbers, the Spurs are quite happy to have this game at home, having not played at home since Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, three weeks ago. A little home cooking is just what our shooters need.

But make no mistake: this game will be won or lost on the backs of the Big 3, the backs we’ve relied upon so many times in the past. All 3 need to improve upon their Game 2 performances, and I expect all 3 will.

Just as Miami has yet to face a foe like us, this Miami team is the most devastating team we’ve played in all of these playoffs. Games 1 and 2 we’re opening rounds; Game 3 will determine the timbre of the remainder of the series. Can San Antonio’s execution and discipline outlast Miami’s supreme athleticism and talents?

I’m sure there will be lots of tweaks and adjustments, but at this time of year, I’m most excited to just see how each team’s Big 3 respond and play in this game. While a huge contribution from a role player can often be a memorable moment in swinging a game, it’s almost always about the star players pushing and guiding their teams to victories. Each of the six aforementioned players have yet to play to their abilities.

Expect a battle.

5 for 21.

Go Spurs Go.

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