Of course, the Heat win it with a go-ahead LeBron-to-Allen 3-pointer. How else would they do it? The Spurs basically trotted out a glorified Austin Toros squad and James didn't punish them like you might expect. With Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson all sitting, the Spurs had no choice but to throw Boris Diaw at James, and it actually worked. Until the end.
Wade still doesn't look right out there. And that was before he shot a floater in the lane in the first quarter and left it about three feet short. Wade struggled with his shot yet again and failed to make hard close-outs on shooters. That blinding first step of his has been missing in action all season. If Wade is deliberately coasting here early in the season, it shows.
Spoelstra oddly kept Bosh glued to the bench until there was less than three minutes left, but the Heat survived. Going against Tiago Splitter, Bosh didn't even score in the first quarter, but he woke up once that second quarter buzzer sounded. Bosh dunked all over the Spurs' reserves-turned-starters and continued to be the Heat's offensive metronome. The boards were key.
Once again, Ray Allen saves the day. Just as he did against the Cavaliers and the Nuggets already this season, James found Allen for a desperation 3-pointer and Allen delivered once again. Allen may not be able to be Tony Allen out there defensively, but the Heat will take it as long as he keeps closing the door on his opponents.
To quote Rick Pitino: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are not walking through that door. And yet, it almost didn't matter. For all the hand-wringing about Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sending his stars home to Texas (on a commercial flight!), Popovich coached his tail off and squeezed every ounce of talent out of his underdog, undermanned squad. But will David Stern get the last laugh?