Game 1 of the NBA Finals had a variable that no player or coach could plan for: malfunctioning air conditioning. However, with the subsequent media backlash against LeBron James over the past several days, Game 2’s intensity level has been ratcheted up another notch. After succumbing to cramps in the closing moments of the opening game, expect LeBron to come out in attack mode Sunday night. But pay attention early in the game to see how the refs are calling the physicality in the paint, as that will be key to the outcome.
Assuming LeBron attacks the lane at will tonight, you’d expect him to get to the line at least 10 times. Not so fast, though. The Spurs allowed just 11 free throw attempts to the Heat in Game 1, which was the fewest number of FT attempts by a team in an NBA Finals opener in 50 years. Moreover, Miami went to the line 118 times in their series last year, which was also a record for the fewest ever in a 7-game series.
Make no mistake, the Spurs aim to play effective defense without fouling and are often successful at thwarting opponents. Only once in the past 10 seasons have the Spurs finished below 5th in fewest fouls committed and 6th in free throws allowed. LeBron is next to unstoppable when driving to the basket, but if any team is equipped to handle him, it’s the Spurs. Does these thoughts effect your pick for the series?
Watch these two titans of the court go at it again tonight in Game 2. Call the action on SnapCall starting at 8pm ET!