The International Blogtable: A Surprising Finals


Every week, the International Blogtable brings together some of the best basketball minds from around the world, posing a burning question to writers and editors from the NBA's fleet of international web destinations. It's a BIG world, after all.
Click here for Hang Time Blogtable, featuring responses from NBA.com writers


One blowout each way, and a shot for the ages: Whatís surprised you?
Pawel Weszka
Editor, NBA Africa

I was surprised how easily the Heat shut down Tony Parker in Game 2. Itís one thing to challenge the player of his statue on every possession, but making him do those clearly predictable pick-and-roll passes was a great testament to Spo and Miamiís defense. More surprising was that he did it a few times, even after Popís timeouts. No alternatives? Another surprise has been LeBron Jamesí under-performance so far, but then, címon, he will not have a poorer shooting game than Game 3 (7-of-21) so the Spurs must steel themselves for another twist or two down the stretch.
Adriano Albuquerque
Blogger, NBA Brasil

Sure I saw this coming, how dare you challenge that? LOL. Honestly, what has surprised me the most was how Miami was able to contain Tony Parker in Game 2, and how the Spurs reacted and blew them out even with Tony Parker giving them so little in Game 3. TP is the key to San Antonio winning it all, and the fact that they won one like that even without a top performance from him says a lot about their depth. With fears of a hamstring injury limiting the Frenchman onward, it's good for them to know they can still beat Miami without him.
Hanson Guan
Editor, NBA China

The performance of role players such as Danny Green and Gary Neal. After three games, the duo has averaged 32.3 pts. Furthermore, they've bagged 8.3 three-pointers per game, far outshining the Heat, a team that spent 2012-13 excelling at three-pointers.
Philipp Dornhegge

The fact that none of the two Big Three has played up to his potential so far feels weird. We were expecting a showdown between LeBron and Parker with some Duncan moments in between, but what weíre getting is heavy doses of Green, Leonard and Neal vs. Miller, Cole and the occasional Chalmers. Three games into the Finals, thereís no player or even a small group of players running away with the MVP award. Instead, itís completely up in the air. Right now, you might have to give it to Leonard for playing LeBron to a tie. If thatís not surprising, I donít know what is.
Stefanos Triantafyllos
Editor, NBA Greece

I've been a bit surprised by LeBron's approach to the game. Like he didn't push the turbo button at all. As for the three-point parade the Spurs put on, it was quite spectacular even for a team that thrives in spacing and ball-sharing. Gary Neal and Danny Green were 13-for-19 from downtown and with these kind of percentages you simply can't lose. It is no surprise, but always a thrill to see another player for the Spurs to become the X-Factor in a Finals game, as we are witnessing for 14 years now.
Karan Madhok
Blogger, NBA India

The story on either side has been the bench. Apart from Parker (21) and Duncan (20) in Game 1, none of the other Ďstarí names have scored over 18 points in this series. Instead, guys like Danny Green, Gary Neal, and Mario Chalmers have been making a name for themselves over the half-dozen future Hall of Famers in the series. And each time the supporting cast has stepped up and the threes have started falling, weíve witnessed a blowout. Will the players who get paid the big bucks finally step up to earn them in Game 4?
Davide Chinellato
Editor, NBA Italia

This series has been a huge surprise from the beginning. LeBron playing some of his worst hoops ever is one of the biggest, especially after the triple-double in Game 1. The Spurs are really defending well on him and lead 2-1 even with their Big Three not playing particularly well (27 points combined in Game 2, 25 in Game 3, their worst combined performance ever). And rise your hand if you had Danny Green as top scorer (56 points, 19-23 from downtown) through three games games. Or Kawhi Leonard as early candidate for Finals MVP. And Iím pretty sure surprises are not over yet.
Aldo Avinante

I'm surprised about how dominant the Spurs were in Game 3, despite not playing Tony Parker for a long stretch in the second half. If the three-point shooting of the Spurs will click the way it did last game they look like unbeatable, especially in their home court.