NBA Finals Check-In: Saturday Practice Notes
Starring a LeBron James shooting clinic.
When the media—dozens and dozens of reporters and cameras and tape recorders and notebooks—took the court to meet with the Miami Heat players Saturday afternoon, LeBron James decided he wanted to get a few more shots up. And holy shit, did he get a few more shots up. Bron started with threes from the top of the key, which he sank at a pretty solid clip, and with every few successful buckets, he’d take a few steps back. So he began around here….
Then moved to here…
Then found himself at halfcourt…
At that point he muttered, “I think I’m out of my range now.” Which, as it turns out, was a damned lie. Because then he stepped back even further…
Pretty ridiculous. Anyway, first the Heat then the Spurs spent time speaking with reporters earlier today. Some quotes:
• Coach Spoelstra: “There’s a maturity with this group. We don’t take that for granted. But our guys get angry. They own it. We all own it together. And then we just work to try to get better. So we know that we’re playing against a very good basketball team. We have to bounce back and play a better game.”
• LeBron on the Heat’s fourth quarter fatigue: “We have to dig down. It’s about will. We’re a team that expends a lot of energy on both sides of the floor. But we have to figure out a way to have some in the fourth quarter for sure, when it’s closing time.”
• LeBron on if the Danny Green he saw in Cleveland is the same Danny Green he saw in Game 1 Thursday: “Is that a serious question?”
• Birdman Andersen on his favorite types of music: “I listen to everything, man. I listen to country, hip-hop, classical music.”
• Dwyane Wade: “Sometimes when you’re in a slump, when you’re in a funk, me and Bron talked about, in Game 7 he just told me, he said, ‘You look different today.’ Sometimes it’s just the way you look, it’s the way you act, it’s the way you feel. Your body is not going to get any better at this point. At all. The way you approach things can change. And I just changed my approach the last couple of days. I’m starting to enjoy it a little more.”
• Coach Popovich on The Decision: “All the chirp, chrip, chriping about what [LeBron] should have done, I thought it was hilarious from the beginning. Frankly, I was very happy for him as the year progressed when it became obvious he was comfortable in his own skin and didn’t need to listen to any of you all.”
• Tony Parker: “We are definitely having fun. I think we appreciate every moment. We don’t take anything for granted, because it’s been a long time. it’s been six years. After the Memphis series, there was a lot of emotions. I think we are really happy to be back, because I think we realize how hard it is to go to the Finals.”
And there you go. I’ll be back here tomorrow night live-blogging Game 2. See ya then.