🏀 NBA Finals: Game 3 Preview

7 June 2023 basketball playoffs

I wanted to get to this sooner and write something longer, but instead, since the game is an hour away, we’ve got bullet points!

But first!

Eric Spoelstra on Turning Jokic into a Scorer@bleacherreport

Spo apologized to Shelborne after this, which is good. I’m guessing he has a problem with the simplification of the question (I’ve been pushing this strategy since before game one). While he would have a point (if he were better about his rebuttal), it’s never really been about just turning Jokić into a scorer. What Miami is trying to do is limit his ability to create for others. What that does is keep them from getting into a rhythm and gets them less engaged on defense. Michael Porter Jr. is an exemplary example of this in game two. Jokić could still end up with 10+ assists, but what you are trying to do is get less touches and less attempts for the other players off of Jokić passes—force them to create for themselves and limit the touches Jokić gets in the paint, where points are way too easy to come by for him. The other key here is obviously Jimmy Butler guarding Jamal Murray—being able to guard him 1-on-1 allows the Miami Heat to do so much more with their defense to disrupt what Jokić wants to do deep in the lane.

Both Chris Vernon on The Mismatch and Tim Legler on The Lowe Post did a great job of getting a bit more into how that strategy ends up working (although no one is talking about them being less engaged on defense when they get less touches 🤷‍♂️).


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