3 Things to Look For in Game 2 of the NBA Finals

If Game 1 was any indication, the basketball gods have graced us with the rare sequel that lives up to the original.

The Spurs and Heat went back and forth for three quarters (And without air conditioning! Oh no! It's like playing streetball in the summer!), but the fourth quarter is what left us with the storylines.

LeBron cramped up and essentially missed the entire end of the game, which may or may not have helped San Antonio close on a 31-9 run as they came back to win 110-95.


Now that we got our first look at the 2014 version of a Spurs-Heat Finals, what will be the deciding factors in Game 2?

1) LeBron James vs. Danny Green

Green was the spark to San Antonio's late run, hitting a couple of consecutive threes that brought the Spurs back quickly and gave them the momentum. He scored all 13 of his points during that run, and didn't make a shot before then.

You could look at that and think Green was just stepping up when his team needed to, but his outburst also coincided with LeBron not being on the court. James guarded him for a majority of the game - although he did rotate onto Ginobili and Leonard at times - as Miami coach Erik Spoelstra wanted to avoid what Danny Green did to them during last year's Finals.

Spoelstra will almost certainly have LeBron on him as much as he can in Game 2, and Green is going to have to figure out a way to be productive when that happens - which is a problem he still hasn't solved.

2) Turnovers

If you're a Miami fan, one of the things that has to scare you is that San Antonio turned the ball over 23 times in Game 1 - an absurd number for a team like the Spurs - and they STILL managed to win by 15. They averaged just over 14 turnovers a game in the regular season.

If they can just get back to that number, they'll increase the amount of points they score because of more possessions while limiting Miami's transition opportunities at the same time, taking away points from the Heat.

Miami scored just under 30 points off of turnovers in Game 1, so if San Antonio has a normal game, they'll cut that total by a little less than half - turning a 15 point win into a 25 or 30 point blowout.

Meanwhile, the Heat only turned the ball over 16 times (slightly up from their season average of 14.76 a game), and San Antonio scored the same number of points off those turnovers as Miami scored off of theirs. We think of LeBron & Co. is being the league's most dangerous transition team, but the Spurs' ability to knockdown threes in transition essentially neutralizes the difference.

Yes, Miami's swarming and high-pressure defense had a lot to do with causing so many turnovers, but many of them were unforced and unnecessary. The numbers say San Antonio will get back to playing smarter on offense and cut their turnovers down, creating a bigger gap the Heat need to close.

3) Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh's aggressiveness

Wade (19 points) and Bosh (18 points, nine rebounds) had good games to start the series, but not great ones. Unfortunately for Heat fans, they were at their worst after LeBron left the game with his cramps.

They've been under scrutiny from the media for that, which I think will trigger the killer instinct in each of them. I expect them to come out and try and take the game over in the first quarter, establishing themselves early.

Plus, they'll probably be asked to carry a heavier load to ease the burden on LeBron so he can have more time to rest and hydrate.

If they step their games up, Miami will almost certainly win. But if they play good but not great again, San Antonio will have the advantage.

What do you think will be the difference in Game 2? Will the series be 2-0 or 1-1 going to Miami? Tweet your thoughts to @brauf33.

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