Despite the projected lukewarm ratings, fans of the arts probably consider this battle between the Heat and Spurs a classic. The series is like a break-dance competition between Rock Steady Family and Battle Squad. In break dance battles, teams combine different talents and tussle with an equally formidable and diverse dance group until both exhaust their skills and a team prevails.
It should, because the same philosophy applies to this NBA Finals in which the Spurs lead 2-1, after flexing some serious B-boy stance, steam-rolling Miami with a swarming routine of aerial back flips and King Tut gut-pokes.
In Game 1, Tony Parker’s wind-milling expertise and worm-like mobility ripped into Miami’s bland routine. Break-dancing in France is heavy on the head spins and Parker was twisting Miami’s D into knots.
In Game 2, LeBron didn’t hog the spotlight with an array of unfathomable dunks and heart palpitations as one might expect. He got his Magic Johnson two-step on, helping a supporting cast that’s been out of sync for most of these playoffs finally get off.
In Game 3, the Spurs bench busted a stupid, dope move and crushed the Heat with some serious popping of treys and locking down defensively. There’s always a silver lining, though. Mike Miller got into some action off the pine – head-spinning, hand-spinning and even Smurfing – but the Spurs had too much groove for Miami.
San Antonio’s titles have been won on the skillful artistry of The Big Three; however, on Tuesday night, the rhythm of the contest swayed towards secret-weapon cats like Gary Neal (27 points) . Neal did his Gregory Hines, Crazy Legs impersonation and daggered Miami with an array of jumpers throughout.
Miami is considered the NBA’s golden foot because it confidently kicks ass and has the dopest baller with the illest moves, but slowly in these playoffs, the Heat have lost confidence in the moves that made them 66-16 in the regular season. LBJ shows no killer instinct; Bosh is lost in space; and Wade’s lifts aren’t as powerful and impactful. James finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds on Tuesday, but missed 11 of his first 13 shots and just couldn’t execute his artistic genius with the same fervor.
The heartbeat of any supreme dance team is the confidence of its choreographer. You can say Spoelstra and Lebron share in those duties, but on Tuesday, Miami looked like they were crunking in a salsa competition. If these squads are as evenly matched as it appears, look for Miami to tune, tweak and turn it up in practice.
Everybody wants LeBron to go ham like Nick Cannon when he stole his solo in the movie, “Drumline,” but maybe LeBron actually watched the flick and his first priority will remain getting the “other” homies to cut massive rug. It’s baffling at times, but he sees the long-term value in it.
We all know Game 4 is LBJ time. Miami has the more innovative cardboard crushers, but the Spurs are 18-7 in the finals, the best winning percentage of any team with 20 or more games. LBJ has to tighten up that hoody, polish up his kicks and hit the Spurs with a blast of gutter ganja they’ve never experienced. It’s really not a dance competition, but it should be. Broken bones, tested souls and innovative roles will determine the outcome of these next few games.