Shootaround: Step up time

 NBA Finals Game 3: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
9 p.m./ABC — Series Tied 1-1

The stats and trends entering a Game Three are being pretty well publicized at this point. In the 13 times since moving to a 2-3-2 format, the team that has won Game Three when the series is tied 1-1 has gone on to win the championship a whopping 12 times.

Christian Peterson/Getty Images/ZimbioSaying Game Three is important, is historically only an understatement.

San Antonio and Miami learned a lot about each other from the first two games. You could see it in the way the Heat were able to adjust to the Spurs in Game Two and then eventually in the second half when they pulled away. The chess match has turned to Gregg Popovich and the Spurs as they try to counter and bounce back.

One thing was abundantly clear though: the key players have to step up and do their jobs if their team stand any chance at winning in this series. Sure, Mario Chalmers or Danny Green or Kawhi Leonard could come up with a big game, but this series comes down to what the big trios do.

In Game One, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined to score 48 points on 20-for-47 shooting (42.6 percent). The Spurs got 54 points on 21-for-48 shooting (43.8 percent) in Game One from Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Game Two? The Heat's trio posted 35 points on 18-for-40 shooting (45.0 percent) compared to the Spurs' trio with 27 points on 7-for-33 shooting (21.2 percent).

These players are not the be-all, end-all for victory. These guys need some of the role players to step up and make plays. But eventually the game comes down to these key players who are likely to use the most possessions. They all must shoot better and score more to secure a championship for their team.

Nets still talking with Jason Kidd
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The Nets are still talking with Jason Kidd for their vacant head coaching position and the recently retired point guard (previously of the Knicks) is reportedly the most serious candidate. Everyone seems to have an opinion on Kidd. Avery Johnson thinks Kidd could be a good coach right now. Stan Van Gundy? Not so much. Stan Van Gundy told Amani and Eytan of NBC Sports that picking Kidd could be a big mistake for the general manager and could keep the franchise back.

Hawks and Kings fined for tampering
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As expected, the Atlanta Hawks were fined by the league for violating the NBA's tampering policy. An Atlanta Hawks season ticket salesman mentioned the Hawks' plans to pursue Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in a letter to a potential season ticketholders. The Kings also were fined for tampering when Michael Malone said Paul would look good in a Kings uniform.

Patrick Ewing joins Bobcats staff
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Patrick Ewing will join Steve Clifford's staff in Charlotte as an associate head coach. Ewing was an assistant coach with Clifford when he was on Stan Van Gundy's staff in Orlando. Ewing interviewed for the Bobcats' head coaching job last year but did not get the job. He did not work in the NBA last year.

Otto Porter to work out for top 3 teams
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Otto Porter's agent, David Falk, confirmed to the Charlotte Observer that Georgetown forward Otto Porter will work out only for the top three teams in the Draft. That means Porter will not be making a trip to Charlotte. But he will be taking the trip to Cleveland, Orlando and Washington in the near future. Porter is projected to go in the top five, but this seems like Porter's camp is fairly confident he will be in the top  three in the Draft.

Nuggets want to promote Melvin Hunt?
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The Denver Nuggets are fielding a lot of calls for assistant coach Melvin Hunt. Philadelphia is the latest to inquire about one of George Karl's assistant coaches still on staff in Denver. The Nuggets though might be turning them back. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Nuggets are considering promoting Melvin Hunt to the main chair after firing George Karl.

Shaw leaves interview with Clippers for interview with Nets
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Brian Shaw told the Los Angeles Times his interview with the Clippers went great as he set off for Brooklyn to interview for the Nets' job. The race is apparently between him and Jason Kidd. Shaw has been a long-time assistant and a long-time candidate for head-coaching jobs. This may finally be his chance.

 

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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