For a man of his size, Tiago Splitter doesn't dunk often. Now the world knows why. In the midst of his team being on the wrong end of a 30-5 late-game run Sunday night in Miami, Splitter caught a Tony Parker pass at the dotted circle, took a step toward the bucket and rose, ball cocked, intent on packing home a slam. Beneath the hoop stood LeBron James, three inches shorter, 20 pounds heavier, and infinitely tougher than Splitter. His dunk attempt was stopped shy of the rim by the right hand of James, momentarily transformed into Mount Mutombo by the Brazilian Wax, who finished with one rebound in 23 minutes of play.
It would be easy to dwell on Splitter's emasculation, just as it would be expedient to knock Tim Duncan's dreadful 3-13 night from the field, or to face the grim reality that Manu Ginobili simply isn't the same player as when the Spurs last won an NBA title. But despite suffering a 103-84 throttling at the hands of the Heat, San Antonio can head home with its head held high. In splitting the series' first two games in Miami, the Spurs did precisely what they needed to in order to sustain a decent chance of beating the Heat. Mission fuckin' accomplished, even if the final firefight didn't go so swell.