Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Back in King's Landing

Note: This post plays with the geography and characters of Game of Thrones to serve my own basketball analogies. There might be spoilers.

In fewer than twelve hours, Game 3 of the 2014 NBA Finals between the Heat and Spurs will tip off. The series is split 1-1, and the Heat have home floor for the next two games. That provides some comfort for me, but that comfort is about as small as Tyrion Lannister is diminutive. The Spurs are at the Wall, and they have the man-and-giant power to breach the gate (Matt Bonner is Ygritte here, by the way).

No one is safe on the Iron Throne, and having home court advantage after taking Game 2 shouldn't provide the Heat with much comfort or confidence. As the competition and media have echoed during these playoffs, these Finals, you can never sit comfortably on the throne. If it isn't some unworthy usurper like Lance Stephenson trying to blow a maester's air-borne poison into your ear, it's the AT&T Center's air conditioning breaking to simulate the heat of the sands of Dorne*.

These two teams are like Marvel Comics' The Blob fighting the Juggernaut (the illustrated definition of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object). Want proof? Here's Grantland's netw3rk with the -- unbelievable -- stats:

Dating from the 2011-12 season, up to and including last night’s Game 2, the Heat and the Spurs have played 14 games. In those 14 games, the Heat have scored a total of 1,385 points and the Spurs have scored 1,386 points. That — in the most simplistic, reductive of terms — is the minuscule margin between these two teams over the past three full seasons. One point.

 The Heat haven't lost a home game this postseason. But neither had the Spurs until Sunday night, and they'll be seeking retribution. It's hard to protect your home floor when you have 100,000 men -- and Tiago Splitter, who is the wooly mammoth here -- marching on your gate, trying to breach your defense to pull your banners down, and seek vengeance.

Game 3 starts at 9 PM EST, 10 AM on the Peninsula. Hopefully the Wall will hold.

Nock, draw, loose.

* I don't actually believe this. But it will be a fun bit of basketball lore for years to come.

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