We're going to try to go fast today, and please remember Friday's mailbag — we got spots open. You ask, we'll answer, no big whoop.
As always, from the "Talks too much" studios, dang right it was a good day for LBJ — he messed around and got a triple-double.
Where to start? How about the end of a classic 103-100 Game 6 Heat win in overtime.
A headband-less LeBron James dominated the fourth quarter to rally the Heat from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to take the lead late only to have a Tony Parker surge in the final minute push the Spurs to a five-point lead in the final minute. A James 3-pointer, a missed Spurs free throw and a Ray Allen 3 from the corner forced overtime.
It was a classic, a sure-fire Michael Corleone game, personifying the one meaningful scene in Godfather III, which was tossed about on The Twitter — "Right when we thought we were out, they pulled us back in."
It was the inverse of the previous four games — games that were slugfests into the third quarter and snoozers in the final period. This looked to be a coronation for the Spurs for most of the first three quarters, a crowning achievement for the game's most impressive and consistent franchise since Jordan hung up his Jordans. Tim Duncan looked the part of the greatest power forward of all-time, even with the Spurs perimeter players struggling.
San Antonio had a 10-point lead after three quarters, when at that point Duncan had 30 points and James was 3-of-12 from the floor.
Then the frantic happen. Duncan did not score again, and James' headband somehow went flying into the night and it was like Clark Kent took off his glasses.
James, who played the entire 29 minutes after halftime, looked lost as the Spurs controlled the first three quarters. Then he took over. He finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Heat needed every one of those stats, and also his blindside block of a Duncan lay-up that helped ignite the comeback charge.
His final numbers are impressive, but this game was more than that. No, this game was not his defining moment, but it serves as a concrete reminder of what the scale is for him and how LeBron will be remembered. If James had posted the same numbers and Allen's last-second 3 had bounced harmlessly off the iron, James would be a bum.
But Allen was pure, and James is the first 30-10-10 guy in the Finals since Chuck Barkley in 1993. Allen was pure, so James was clutch late rather than awful early in Game 6. He was both of course, but winners write the history and history is written about the winners.
So it goes, and this is a grand signal to all of us — especially a certain family-oriented, interweb-based sports columnist — that history is the collection of moments that lead to rings and the rings around the moments that create the collection.
James is the best player on the planet right now. This we know, and moments and scenes like the final 17 minutes of Tuesday prove it. The rest and the legacy, well, let the titles be stored before we bestow any all-time titles. Serious moonlight.
Amen, and pass the clicker — we got a Game 7 on the horizon.
Game 6, part II
A potential championship game that good deserves more than one part, so we're here to do our part with more than one part. Party.
Let's look at the numbers:
Miami won the game with only 5 fast-break points. That means the Heat were extremely fortunate, and if that happens again, it will be tough for the Heat to duplicate their success in Thursday's Game 7.
The Spurs scored 60 points in the paint. That means the Heat were extremely fortunate, and if that happens again, it will be tough for the Heat to duplicate their success in Thursday's Game 7.
But there will be plenty of time before Thursday to breakdown Game 7.
Let's look at three hidden stars from Tuesday's game:
— Chris Bosh: The long-necked one only had 10 points and he consistently was pantsed throughout the first half by Duncan. Still, Bosh grabbed the season's biggest rebound and found Ray Allen in the corner for the game-tying 3 that saved the Heat's season. He also blocked two shots in overtime. Fear the turtle. Medium moonlight.
— Kawhi Leonard: The Spurs' emerging small forward was 9-of-14 from the floor and finished with 22 points and 11 boards and held his own when asked to guard King James.
— Chris Andersen: His numbers were tiny, but the energy the mo-hawked, multi-tatted Birdman brings to the Heat — especially in Miami — is undeniable. Tat-tastic
Game 6, part III
Yes, we know a three-part NBA entry will exclude some of you. For that we're sorry.
Still this was the first NBA game we've watched from start to finish in a long, Long, LONG time and miraculously it earned and deserved that attention. In fact, let's follow the review The Twitter (@jgreesontfp) back-and-forth we had with a few of you (thanks to MocsMania, MocsBeat and a slew of others including Downtown Patrick Brown for playing along last night; we definitely will be full speed ahead on The Twitter on Thursday night):
(Remember, The Twitter feed is in reverse order, so the flow of the game will be from the bottom up.)
— @patrickbrownTFP Dude, the list of ifs in this puppy is like a sea of see-saws with a boat-load of chubby preschoolers. #backandforth
— From Patrick Brown @patrickbrownTFP: Spurs win the thing if they (a) make free throws or (b) put Duncan in to get the season's biggest rebound instead of letting Bosh grab it.
— I bet LeBron can do an excellent Bill Cosby impression. #game7
— Grateful there will be #Game7. Hopeful Joey Crawford and those refs are done for the year.
— Great pass from James. Of all of LeBron's skills, his passing is best. Of all of Bosh's traits, his neck is most impressive. #Game6
— Jesus Shuttlesworth can flat stroke it. #Game6
— Wow. Overtime when it went sure fire Spurs, sure fire Heat, sure fire Spurs. "Ray'll make it." #Game6
— @patrickbrownTFP "Tony Parker" #Game6
— From Patrick Brown @patrickbrownTFP how do you say 'Goodness gracious' in French?
— Absolutely HUGE 3 from Tony Parker. Then a steal and a basket. As they say in Major League 2 "marbles." #Game6
— LeBron James, like Shaq, gets hurt in the eyes of the officials because he is bigger and stronger than everyone else. #Game6
— @MocsMania Absolutely. Was about to call it a night, but like Michael in Godfather III, when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.
— He'll make it. #Chitwood
— Are these the three best referees in the NBA? Is now the time to make sure everyone gets to play? Is this the Upward finals? #Game6
— If the Heat are going to have a chance, during the quarter break, LeBron is going to have to look up and say, "I'll make it." #Chitwood
— Spurs are playing better tonight, but how is every tight play on one end good defense and on the other end a Heat foul? #Game6
— @MocsBeat an hour later and LeBron still has no where near 15 points. #Game6
— If Erik Spoelstra knows a basketball from an Easter basket, LeBron James is about to spend a lot of time in the paint. #Game6
— @paulshahen @mocsbeat Pops is so bad he is good. And Doris Burke is great at a bad gig. #gottastopthatinsidetrap
— If Kid from Kid-n-Play and Irwin M. Fletcher had a tot it would be Nerlens Noel. He's actually 6-5, with the Afro 6-9, pretty good dribbler.
— @MocsBeat Gregg Popovich is the second best coach in team sports behind Patchs O'Houlihan. Cotton needs new shorts. #dodgeSpurs
— (From Patrick Brown @patrickbrownTFP) That was a marvelous half by Tim Duncan, but I can't get over LeBron basically getting shut down by the 325-pound Boris Diaw.
—How does LeBron go from looking like a more athletic Magic to a bigger version of Ollie. Make it a good one Strap. #Game6
— How good has Danny Green been? His worst 3-point shooting night in the Finals is 4-of-9 in Game 1. Serious moonlight. #Game6
— How physically great is LeBron? He is being guarded by the Spurs 2, 3, and 4. LeBron is guarding the Spurs 1 (Parker) and 5 (Duncan).
— Under the moonlight. Serious moonlight. Great start for Spurs. LeBron to the courtesy phone, Mr. James to the white courtesy phone. #Game6
— Wow. Timmy Duncan showing us why he is the best power forward ever. #Game6
— @RealCJ10 Chipper, thanks so much for coming to Chattanooga. It was the best Best of Preps ever. #beahero
— @MocsBeat Nine sounds close (think it might be higher). Think LeBron goes to work inside and gets something link 34-12-10. #game7
— OK, Twitterverse, what will happen tonight in Game 6? LeBron or Spurs? As the Fresh Prince said, "I'm going to Miami; Welcome to Miami."
This and that
— Sesame Street is introducing a new character. Reportedly, Alex will be a new guy in America's favorite kid street, and Alex is ashamed to tell folks his dad is in jail. Not sure where to go with this one. You pick: A) Happy Father's Day. B) Can't wait for the special episode when Alex meets his favorite football player, Chad Ochocinco. C) You fill in the blank.
— Enjoyed this story by UTC women's basketball ace John Frierson on the introduction process for new Lady Mocs coach Jim Foster and his team. We're still kind of awed at the home run AD David Blackburn pulled with this hire. Hiring coaches is always a bit of a gamble — no matter how much you like hire A or candidate B, there's a real chance that failure is on the horizon — but landing Foster was truly magician's work. With all hires there are questions, even with Foster; the difference is with the Foster hire, the question is, "How'd Blackburn do that?"
— The Braves got swept in a day-night doubleheader, and considering the lateness of Monday's game, were a trot-off homer from Freddie Freeman away from actually losing three games on the same day. And you thought Manu Ginobli had a bad Tuesday, huh? Hey, the Braves only struck out 24 times in the 18 innings Tuesday. What? That's not good? Hey did Danny Struggla just swing and miss again. Serious moonshine.
— Did you hear that New England tight end Aaron Hernandez was questioned about a homicide? He reportedly is not a suspect, but a car rented in Hernandez's name is a key part of the investigation in the death of a man found about a mile from Hernandez's home. We blame Tebow for this. He hasn't been there even a month, and now Gronk needs another surgery and Hernandez is a piece in a major crime invesitgation CSI: Bellichick. (Is this the Lord telling us Tebow needs to be a tight end after all? Maybe Michael Landon will co-star.)
After Ray Allen's huge 3-ball from the corner pocket that forced overtime and allowed the Heat to give us the grandest gift in sports — a championship Game 7 — there's only one way to honor the man many know betters as Jesus Shuttlesworth. Yes, He's Got Game.
So let's drop a Rushmore in Allen's honor — the best pure shooters in the modern NBA era (i.e post 1980). And sorry, Danny Green's torrid stretch this June is not enough.
We'll take Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin and Ray-Ray. Four guys who, whenever they squared up — especially in big moments — it surprised you when it didn't go in.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...
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