San Antonio -- This was a whipping, nothing else. I've seen them before in the AT&T Center and I'll see them again probably. Not only are the Spurs the better-looking team after the 103-92 Game 2 win, they are playing at a very high level. If they continue to play like this, I don't think it will matter what the Cavs do in all honestly. We can talk about adjustments and intensity and coaching all night. That said, it, too, is just a single game. Obviously the Spurs look like the dominant team, but I am compelled by my realist nature and perspective-based style to say the series is not over.
So it goes...
--I am inclined to totally disregard the LeBron James foul trouble in the first quarter. While it is questionable whether Mike Brown left him out too long, I think he played the percentages in thinking long-term about the game. The Cavs lost six points on the scoreboard with James on the bench for nine minutes. I don't care what anyone says, that is an acceptable number under these circumstances. When the Cavs got buried by 14 points in the second quarter, James was out there the whole time and Tony Parker was on the bench a bunch.
--I have no idea how to judge these fourth quarters. On one hand, I think the Spurs are totally letting down. On the other, the small lineup presents some challenges for San Antonio. Brown may have to consider going with the small lineup more and I explain why in this piece for ESPN.com. It means more than just giving more time to Daniel Gibson, but some steps need to be taken by the coach.
--Gibson, by the way, just continues to impress me. With all this other stuff going on, this kid showing he could very well be a star in this league.
--Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are all playing great. They all scored more than 20 points just four times before tonight this season. Even for these great players, this was an exceptional night. Sure the Cavs were off their game, but the Spurs played above their normal level, too. And their normal level is world class. Again, another reason to see what happens in Cleveland.
--Zydrunas Ilgauskas, of whom I am a steadfast defender, has been awful in San Antonio. He's not doing anything well. He can't make a jumper, he can't make a tip in, he barely gets any rebounds, Duncan is making a mockery of him. Duncan does this to most everyone, but Ilgauskas has the ability to get some back at the other end and he's not doing it and it's killing the Cavs. By the way, it was Z getting out of position twice that caused LeBron to commit those fouls in the first quarter.
--Larry Hughes says his foot is feeling better. I believe him. But he's playing worse. Something has to be done there. If he's going to go 1-of-10 shooting, you might as well give his time to Eric Snow.
--Why are the Spurs moving faster than the Cavs, getting to more rebounds, diving for more loose balls, and generally showing more passion for the game? I know the Cavs realize these are the Finals, but they aren't playing like it. You can see the difference late when the Cavs intensity to come back shows up. Considering it is the last round, why this cannot be achieved from the start is beyond my personal comprehension.