Saturday, June 14, 2014

Miami Heat Down Against Spurs and History

          Coming off a dramatic Game 4 win by the San Antonio Spurs over the Miami Heat 107-86, the Heat find themselves down 3-1 in the series.  In the history of the NBA, no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals, so the Heat obviously face a nearly impossible task.  However, there is a first time for everything, and when you have the best player in the world on your team, as the Heat do in LeBron James, anything is possible.

          Before the series started, I noted how Kawhi Leonard would have to play his absolute best in order to match LeBron James in what would be a key matchup in the series.  He has done just that and, while playing great defense against the best player in the world, has held his own in the offensive categories.  In order for the Heat to come back and win this series, LeBron will need to play up to his superstar capabilities and separate himself from Leonard, not just in the points category.  As you can see, James has turned over the ball way too many times, while Leonard has been clean with the ball in his hands although still getting his touches and shooting the ball at a high rate.  LeBron has failed to do anything spectacular and take over this series, while Leonard did this:

          After the Game 4 loss, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, "They played great, and I can honestly say I don't think any of us were expecting this type of performance."  That is exactly the problem: the Heat were expecting to win.  After winning the NBA Championship two years in a row it is understandable that Miami might assume a three-peat would be handed to them.  However, they underestimated the resolve of the deepest and most driven team in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs.  Gregg Popovich has done a fantastic job with this team and it should go down as one of the greatest teams in the last ten years.  That is not to say that Miami cannot come back and win, but it will be tough.  And "tough" is one heck of an understatement.  Adding to the fact that no team has ever come back from three games down to win the Finals, the Spurs are 10-2 at home in these playoffs.  They will have Game 5 at home to close out the series, as well as Game 7 if it comes down to that.  LeBron doesn't seem to have given up yet though, as he said, "We put ourselves in a position where it is about making history."  True, records are meant to be broken, but judging by how the Spurs played in Game 4, it sure won't be easy.

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