Gregg Popovich and the Spurs are one of the best run-stoppers in the NBA, so how did the Miami HEAT out-score them 33-5 in the 2nd half of Game 2 in the NBA Finals?
Popovich seems to call timeouts before the other team can build momentum and pull away with a double-digit lead. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported a study by 3 researchers from Northwestern University illustrated there's something to this notion. Their research found the Spurs were the 3rd-best team in the NBA at using timeouts to affect the scoring margin (the HEAT ranked 4th).
Popovich called 3 timeouts when the HEAT made their jump to lightspeed in 8:37 from the end of the 3rd quarter to the middle of the 4th quarter:
- HEAT run was 3-0 with 3:11 left in 3rd quarter after a Mario Chalmers and-1.
- HEAT run was 23-5 with 9:11 left in 4th quarter after Chalmers stole the ball from Tiago Splitter and LeBron James scored on a fastbreak layup.
- HEAT run was 30-5 with 7:43 left in 4th quarter and Popovich sent in Tracy Mcgrady, "the world's tallest forfeit signal."
The Spurs ranked 3rd in average biggest lead allowed this season, but the HEAT were up by 27 in Game 2 and Popovich ended the game with 1 full timeout and 1 20-second timeout in his pocket. Would he have called more timeouts if the Spurs didn't win Game 1? Would it have mattered if he did?
We'll find out if the HEAT try to make another jump to lightspeed in Game 3. #FuckPopobitch #FuckTheSpurs
Play-by-play for Game 2 from nba.com.