Usually during my Finals thoughts, there is a quick recap of the game, followed by three bullet points delving deeper into how the game was viewed through my eyes. After the San Antonio Spurs 107-86 destruction of the Miami Heat to move to one game away from the NBA Championship this one will be a little different.
The overarching theme until tip off Sunday will surely be, what is wrong with the Heat? At this point, they are looking like the South Beach version of the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to LeBron James leaving. James is putting up numbers, and everyone else has disappeared. The chemistry is completely lacking, and they look like they do not have any answers for the Spurs. It has been puzzling to watch happen. Instead of trying to dissect the Heat’s issues, credit should be given to the Spurs who have proven to be what is wrong with the Heat.
After the Spurs record setting win in Game 3, the prevailing thought was that the Heat would win this one and even the series heading back to San Antonio for Game 5. It was also tough to think the Spurs could match the performance from Tuesday night. The Spurs masterfully put both of those thoughts to bed by halftime.
The one thing they could improve from Game 3 was their defensive effort. Right from the tip off, they were active and aggressive on the defensive end. They were contesting jump shots, playing the passing lane for steals, and blocking shots when the Heat drove to the basket. Their defensive effort early sucked the energy out of the arena, and was a punch to the mouth that the Heat never recovered from.
On the offensive end, they continued the incredible ball movement that has led to open shots throughout the playoffs. It is clear that they do not care who ends the possession taking a shot as long as it is a quality one. It has been a masterclass on how five guys can work as one on the offensive end. As said by Jeff Van Gundy, these last two games in Miami should be shown to every youth and high school team prior to the start of their season. They need to see that you can destroy a team by working together, and look good doing so.
Soccer is called “the beautiful game”, but when played the way the Spurs did in Game 3 and 4, basketball can lay claim to that moniker. The only people who did not enjoy the Spurs performances are Heat fans, and the casual fan who watches just for dunks. Any long time basketball fan should have a hearty appreciation for what we have seen.
It will be interesting to see if the Heat can muster up a win in San Antonio Sunday, and force a Game 6. After watching these last two games, I am inclined to say no they can not. However, the Spurs reminded us in Games 3 and 4 that anything can happen once the ball is tipped off. So, I will be waiting eagerly for 8 p.m. on Sunday night to see how things shake out.
Well, thank you for checking out my thoughts on Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Be on the lookout for them as long as the series goes.
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