In Game 3, the San Antonio Spurs sent an NBA Finals record with 16 three pointers.
Here is every single three:
There were three parts to San Antonio’s success:
- Plays — Not only play-calling, but play execution (especially, identifying the open man).
- Bad Defense — The Heat played some of the laziest, non-committal defense I have ever seen in the NBA Finals.
- The Spurs Were Red Hot — Gary Neal and Danny Green were on fire and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about that.
Part I: Plays
Here, Tony Parker is coming off a side-pick-and-roll with Tiago Splitter. LeBron, who’s guarding Danny Green has to move from the far corner to the paint, to help out on the rolling Splitter.
Following the screen, Tony Parker blows by his original defender, Mario Chalmers. Parker is now guarded by Chris Bosh, who is doing everything to prevent a Tony Parker drive to the rim. As the arrows indicate, because LeBron had to rotate over to guard Tiago Splitter, Danny Green is open in the corner and Kawhi Leonard is open on the wing.
Dwyane Wade, who was originally guarding Kawhi Leonard, is caught in no-man’s land.
Parker dumps it off to Kawhi. I drew that red circle to underline just how open Kawhi Leonard is. Dwyane Wade is rushing to contest Leonard’s shot, but Kawhi has already started his shooting motion with no Heat defender within 10 feet of him.
While one could argue this is bad defense, I argue that this is just really good play calling from the Spurs. Look for the Spurs to use the side-pick-and-roll to open up a three point shot on the other side of the floor in Game 4