During the NBA Finals, Rey Moralde of The No Looks Pass will be contributing to Project Spurs during the San Antonio Spurs' chase for title number five.
Game 1 was brilliantly played on both sides but the San Antonio Spurs came out on top after Tony Parker's brilliant bank shot at the end of the game. We're all expecting the Heat to make their adjustments but I can't say there will be too many because it's not like they played a poor game.
The main thing the Spurs have to watch out for is a more aggressive LeBron James on the offensive end. For the past couple of weeks, LeBron has alluded to his Cleveland days. While the four-time MVP got a triple-double in Game 1, he only scored 18 points on 16 shots. Expect for that to increase.
What I'm surprised is that they didn't go to the post more where LeBron has been deadly. Kawhi Leonard is giving up 35-40 pounds against this guy so James can definitely overpower him. But will that actually play more into the Spurs' hands? James had talked about fatigue in Game 1 and him carrying more of a load would do that. Maybe Spoelstra will make someone like Chalmers or Wade handle the ball while Bron operates on the blocks.
I expect the Heat to not trap early to save themselves some energy in the second half. The Spurs did a beautiful job breaking down the full court press; they only turned the ball over four times. San Antonio's offense works like clockwork, though. I think we'll see how the Heat players will play them man defense. If necessary, they'll probably put LeBron on Parker early, too. Remember that while the roster plays smart offensive basketball, the Spurs live and die by Parker's decision-making. If the Heat can throw him off, they have a better chance of taking Game 2.
The Heat will probably give more time to shooters like Shane Battier, Ray Allen, and Mike Miller. Miami got a lot of open corner threes in Game 1, going 4 for 11 (.364). What the Spurs have to do is watch the corner. San Antonio, throughout the year, has been patient on their offensive and defensive schemes. If they can prevent the corner 3, then they'll be fine as long as they continue to play their defense on a string.
The Spurs' biggest fear is definitely LeBron James going off. But as long as they stay within their system, they should be okay. Chances are that the Spurs are going to have more than four turnovers in Game 2. But that can be countered by playing defense like they did in the fourth quarter (four out of the Heat's eight turnovers were in the fourth).
Lastly, the Spurs' main adjustment without regard to what the Heat is going to do? Rebound better. They were outboarded, 46-37. The Spurs were 21st in rebounding in the regular season, yes, but the Heat were dead last. They have to do better on hitting the glass.
Let the chess game continue.