PODCAST: Heat No Longer a “Big Three,” Spurs Now a “Big Four”

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One of the obvious takeaways from the 2014 NBA Finals was that the San Antonio Spurs clearly have more good players than the Miami Heat. When the series began, it appeared to be a showdown of each team’s “Big Three” – Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker for the Spurs and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the Heat. But as the Finals progressed, the talent gap separating the teams became evident. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich trusted his bench,

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Three-Man Weave: Finals MVP Picks, Drastic Changes for the Heat

Miami Heat championship ring 2013

To fill the time between now and what could be the last game of the 2013-14 NBA season, we bring you another edition of the Three-Man Weave. This time, we examine possible NBA Finals MVP candidates – none of whom are among San Antonio’s “Big Three” – and what Miami can do to get back into the series. 1. Who is the NBA Finals MVP thus far?

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Bauman: Kawhi Leonard continues ascent into San Antonio spotlight

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MIAMI — The proverbial “Next step.” When a young player scores a career-high 29 points on 10-for-13 shooting in a 111-92 win in Game 3 in a tied NBA Finals, takes that “Next step,” it’s a big deal (especially in the social media centric world we live in today). Normally he’ll shower, get dressed and head to the podium to answer questions from the media. That was not the case on Tuesday evening. Stone faced and serious, Kawhi Leonard headed toward the throng of media

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Sprung: 5 keys to Miami Heat success in Game 2 of the Finals

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Game 1 of the NBA Finals was Miami’s for the taking. That’s not indicative if you look at Thursday’s 110-95 final score, which looks like an easy romp of a win for the Spurs. But the Heat led going into the 4th quarter and forced 23 San Antonio turnovers in the sweltering, air conditioning-malfunctioning heat at the AT&T Center. How can Miami rebound and continue its streak of 12 consecutive wins after a playoff loss? Here are five easy keys for

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The Three-Man Weave: Looking at Game 2 Adjustments

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As the NBA Finals move on to Game 2, we are back with another Three-Man Weave. This time, we take a look at the cramp quotient for LeBron James and which adjustments each team needs to make. 1. Now that the air conditioning at the AT&T Center is supposedly fixed, are LeBron James’ cramping issues a thing of the past?

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Bernucca: Forget LeBron; Heat Had Plenty of Cramps in Game 1

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It will be easy for Miami Heat fans to say that LeBron James’ absence cramped their team’s style. James sat for almost all of the last 7 1/2 minutes of Thursday’s NBA Finals opener, and the line of demarcation was too obvious. There was a 17-point swing following the moment when James first exited with leg cramps as a close game headed for a fantastic finish devolved into a 110-95 win for the host San Antonio Spurs. “With five and change (left),

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Bauman: James’ Confidence as Shooter Will Be Difference in 2014 Finals

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How will the San Antonio Spurs guard LeBron James? Exactly one year ago, as the 2013 NBA Finals were about to tip off in Miami, the above inquiry was the question. After all, what is the most effective way to defend such a powerful, explosive, unselfish all-around threat? If you paid attention to the epic series as it unfolded last season, you are well aware of the San Antonio Spurs’ strategy: Make LeBron James into an indecisive player by sagging off of him. Force

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