The Miami Heat flourish in transition.
When LeBron James and Dwyane Wade get out in the open court, it's as if they're two men playing the game of basketball against a group of mere boys. It's incredibly entertaining to watch, and for their Miami team, it's what is needed every single night for the Heat to play up to expectations.
This is a club that has struggled at times in the half-court set. When the game slows down and Miami isn't able to use the athleticism of James and Wade to a competitive advantage, there is a better chance of the opposition staying in the game. When it becomes an up-and-down running game between the Heat and whatever team is on the opposite end, Miami has the upper hand.
Miami has lost three games in the 2012 playoffs, and all of those are games in which the Heat have scored under 90 points. In every win, Miami has scored 90 points or more against the opposition. That's not a coincidence.
Since being in a 2-1 hole in the second round against the Indiana Pacers, James and Wade have each played brilliant basketball. Neither player has shot under 50 percent from the field in any game, and the two are combining to produce in such a prolific manner on the offensive end that the opposing defense literally has no answer to slow either down.
Again, this is not a coincidence. This was the vision Pat Riley had for his club. This is the blueprint for Erik Spoelstra's game plan to work, and it shouldn't be a surprise that the Heat look unstoppable when two of the most talented five players in the world are firing on all cylinders.
James and Wade's on-court chemistry continues to blossom before our eyes. Even Wade notices a difference in how the two have played of late (via the Associated Press):
In the regular season, we've had some good games. But I don't know if we've ever had three in a row like that in the playoffs, the way we played off each other.
That was before James and Wade combined for 54 points on 21-of-35 shooting in a convincing Game 1 victory against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.
The two are just working brilliantly off of one another, and it's evident in everything they're doing right now. They're not deliberately thinking about what they need to do in order to win the game, and instead they are focusing on simply playing the game to the best of their abilities.
There’s no alternative. And that’s the reality for our team. They don’t have to score 70 for us to have a chance to win, but they have to shoulder a big load.
James and Wade are setting the tone, and these two future Hall of Fame players are making it look far easier than they have all season.