MIAMI – A day later, Tony Parker’s shot was still the talk of the NBA Finals.
The shot that sealed a Game 1 victory for the San Antonio Spurs was one that people will talk about for years, especially if Parker’s club goes on to beat the Miami Heat in this title series. His amazing sequence – dribble left, dribble right, keep dribbling right, dribble to the corner, spin, fall down, keep dribbling, get up and shoot a bank shot underneath LeBron James’ outstretched arm, watch ball bounce off rim twice and fall into net – seemed to impress everyone.
“It was a crazy play,” Parker said Friday after the Spurs practiced in Miami. “I never panicked. I tried to recover the ball, because as soon as I tried to drive (on) Chris Bosh, I was already losing the ball. And after that it was chaos, and I tried to recover the ball. When I was on the ground, I had time to look at the clock, and I knew it was 1.7. So I had time to pump-fake and get a shot up. It was definitely a little bit of luck.”
He was guarded by four Heat players – James, Bosh, Dwayne Wade and Mike Miller – at times in a mere 13-second span. He appeared to dribble the ball off his leg twice. He could have easily lost the ball when he tumbled to the hardwood.
Instead, he made a shot that capped the scoring. Spurs 92, Heat 88, final.
“He bobbled it, he backed up, he tripped, he fell and he got up and went under my arm and made a tough bank shot,” James said. “That’s not why we lost the game. That’s a huge shot, but it’s not why we lost the game.”
Parker is savoring the moment, though is cautioning his friends and family to not make too big a deal of the shot – at least, not yet. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t have a film session on Friday, so Parker just watched the highlight of his shot.
“You have to put it in my top three, for sure,” Parker said. “Maybe No. 1, because it’s the NBA Finals. It will only mean something if we win the championship. And so that’s why like all my friends, my family, they were going crazy. I’m like, ‘You have to stop going crazy. We only won one game. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just one game.’ But if we go all the way, yes, that shot, you can put it No. 1.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is taking on flopping, and one of his companies is putting up more than $100,000 to study the problem.
Researchers at Southern Methodist University say that Radical Hoops Ltd., a Cuban-owned company, has awarded a grant to fund an 18-month “scientific study of the unsavory practice of player flopping in basketball and other sports.”
One cold Heat
Heat forward Shane Battier played only 6:11 in Game 1, which was 6:11 more than he played in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana.
Battier’s playing time has been steadily declining for the last two weeks. The Pacers’ big lineups were partly to blame last series, but a shooting slump certainly isn’t helping his case, either. Battier went 0 for 3 against the Spurs on Thursday night and has made just two of his last 19 shots in the postseason.
The Heat helped open and dedicate a new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center on Friday morning in North Miami, at one of the parks where Miami native and Heat forward Udonis Haslem grew up playing. … The Spurs lost eight of their last 13 regular-season games. They’re 13-2 so far in the playoffs. … The Heat are 83-14 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season, including playoffs.