Thunder vs. Heat Game 3: Ugly Win Will Push Miami to NBA Title
One of the big problems people have with the Miami Heat is, for all the talent they have, they tend to play ugly basketball because they try to get flashy and do too much with the ball in their hands.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals was the perfect win for the Heat, as they took down the Oklahoma City Thunder to take a 2-1 series lead and set themselves up beautifully to capture an NBA championship.
Anytime you can hold a team like the Thunder to 85 points in a game, you know you're doing something right. Even better was the way the Heat held their own in the fourth quarter, which we all know has been a problematic time for this team, making this win so critical.
For all the talk about how the Thunder might be the next great dynasty, they couldn't figure out the Heat's defense. They shot a respectable 43 percent from the field but just 63 percent from the free-throw line and 22 percent from beyond the arc.
Plus, the Heat held them to 18 points in the fourth quarter, including just four from Kevin Durant. LeBron James, who just might be able to shed his "choker" label with a series win, has been stellar in these last two games—particularly so last night.
In a game where the Heat had nothing going right, at least offensively, James had 29 points and 14 rebounds. He was assertive with the ball on offense, driving into the lane, drawing fouls and hitting free throws.
How many games will the Heat need to win an NBA championship?
With a short series like this, the smallest details can change everything. The Heat did not play a perfect game on Sunday night. Besides James, no one had any consistency with their shot. Dwayne Wade still looks lost with the ball in his hands. But their defense stepped up to the table when it had to, and the Heat are now in perfect position to win the second title in franchise history.
I am of the belief that you can tell a lot more about a team in a loss or ugly win than in their perfect moment. You can see the resolve that a team shows when their back is up against the wall, with no one there to help bail them out.
The Heat proved a lot in Game 3 and will use their present momentum to walk away from this series with the Thunder as NBA champions. So much has been written about what the Heat must do to win, but now, the tables have turned, and it's up to Oklahoma City to make the adjustments.
Right now, they haven't done it. Credit the Heat for doing what they must in order to win and putting themselves in prime position to calm the Thunder.
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