The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs both took 1-0 leads this weekend in their respective Conference Finals. Most people would look at the highlights reel plays of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Manu Ginobili respectively. After looking a little deeper, Shane Battier and Tiago Splitter were the real heroes of the weekend.
With the Boston Celtics grinding the game to a 50-50 tie early in the 3rd quarter, Shane Battier chasd down Rajon Rondo to block his lay-up atempt fom behind. The next play downcourt he hit a three in transition to give the Healtles a 3-point lead. Shane sparked Miami to a great 3rd as they outscored Boston 43-29 the rest of the way. Heat win by 14.
Celtics fans will argue that the referees were the real heroes for Miami…Danny Crawford and Ed Milloy definitely weren’t feeling the color green Sunday…I think fines are in order.
In San Antonio, the Spurs were outplayed in their 3rd quarter and trailed 71-62 to start the 4th. Tiago Splitter started the quarter with two finishes inside and numerous fouls drawn. He helped slow down the tempo of the game and get the Spurs back into it. It was a 3 point game before you knew it. Splitter has been much maligned on BlogNBAsketball.com, and I still feel rightly so. The man is overrated. But on Sunday night he was huge in that 5 minute stretch to start the 4th…I’m not even going to mention his airball free throw (ooops, just did).
Shane Battier and Tiago Splitter…two quiet role players that saved the day this weekend.
Give these two some luv people.