Spurs notebook

San Antonio Spurs say improvement must come from offense

 
WEB VOTE Do you think Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is rude to the media?

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

Even after a Game 2 in which LeBron James scored 35 points and the Heat shot 52.9 percent from the field, it was notable that the Spurs pointed to the offensive end as the area of their shortcomings on Sunday.

Guard Danny Green said the Spurs can live with the shots they gave James: “They were contested jumpers. You’re not going to block his jump shot. We didn’t expect him to shoot that well, but he got hot.”

Tim Duncan said he “thought we were pretty decent” defensively.

What wasn’t acceptable, coach Gregg Popovich said, was the lack of ball movement. “The ball stuck,” he said. “We didn’t do it as a group. We tried to do it individually, and we’re not good enough to do that. You move it or you die.”

Even so, the Spurs had 26 assists and 11 turnovers, compared with the Heat’s 16 and 13.

• Asked if he considered double-teaming James more often during his 14-point third quarter, Popovich said: “Well, you can go double him if you want. He’s a pretty good player. I’m going to guess he’s going to find the open man.”

Free-throw issues

• The Spurs bemoaned missing eight of 20 free throws, including six of eight in the fourth quarter.

Tony Parker and Duncan each missed two in a nine-second stretch midway through the fourth. Parker said being elbowed by Mario Chalmers before the free throws “definitely affected me. Should have made them.”

•  Manu Ginobili, who missed two late key jumpers in Game 2, is now 5 for 20 in the clutch this postseason, which the NBA defines as the final five minutes of games with a margin of five points or fewer. Duncan is 4 for 7 and Parker 8 for 13 in the clutch.

This and that

• Duncan said his technical foul in the second quarter, which followed a foul call against Ginobili, resulted from “frustration” and attributed it to the Heat “turning up their aggressiveness and getting away with some things because they were playing more aggressive than us and the refs don’t want to call everything at that point. You got to play through it. I lost my cool for a second. My fault.”

• Ginobili said the Heat is such a “great team and they’ve been here many times, so we’ve got to be close to perfect to win. We were far from it [Sunday].”

• Ginobili said the Spurs must win one of the next two games in Miami because “we don’t want to come back here 3-1 down. It’s very hard to overcome that.”

• Parker said he is “definitely not going to think about" the Spurs’ two losses to close last year’s Finals. But when asked in January whether returning to Miami will elicit unpleasant memories for players, Popovich told The San Antonio Express-News: “Of course it will, unless they're not human.”

• With 18 points and 15 rebounds in Game 2, Duncan recorded his 157th career playoff double-double, tying Magic Johnson’s playoff record (157).

• Game 2 produced a 30.7 TV rating in Miami-Fort Lauderdale and a 39.5 in San Antonio. … Among those picking against the Spurs: NBA TV’s Isiah Thomas, who said: “I think Miami goes back home and they win. I look at Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and LeBron James … all four of those players are playing at a very high level. None of them are struggling in this series to score or get the type of shot that they want. Until they figure out a way to stop one of those four guys, I don’t see San Antonio having a chance to win.”

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