2013 NBA Finals: Miami Heat Still in Trouble Despite Game 2 Win

Martin TelleriaSenior Analyst IIIJune 10, 2013

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 09:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat blocks the shot of Tiago Splitter #22 of the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter during Game Two of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 9, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lynne Sladky/Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

It seems almost crazy to find fault in the Miami Heat after their 103-84 thrashing of the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

However, two very important things must be taken away.

As impressive as the Heat looked in victory, the fact remains that they lost home-court advantage in the series. Although they would have preferred to win both games, the Spurs did what they set out to do: steal one game in Miami.

Despite getting run off the court in Game 2, the Spurs are still sitting right where they wanted to be.

Even more ominous for the Heat, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have still not played the way we have come to expect.

Although Bosh's shooting percentage and rebounding numbers were good—6-of-10 from the field for 12 points and 14 rebounds—the aggression was not.

Ten shots was enough in Game 2 because the supporting cast came up huge. It is the supporting cast for a reason, though. The bench cannot be expected to bail out the Heat throughout the course of an entire series.

Wade, while understandably playing hurt, has seemingly regressed with each passing game. Game 7 against the Pacers notwithstanding, he has been underwhelming to say the least.

A lot has been said about the dud San Antonio's Big Three produced in Game 2. That, however, has been the exception and not the rule during this postseason run. To expect them not to bounce back would be foolish.

This is why it is critical for Bosh and Wade to up their games. A strong showing from LeBron James and the Heat supporting cast is enough to beat a no-showing Spurs Big Three. It won’t be when they start to click like they did in Game 1.

Especially not when they’re away from the comforts of AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Spurs’ supporting cast has proven to be capable of producing big-time minutes and performances whether the team is home or away. This was evident through the play of Danny Green—5-of-5 from three for 17 points—Kawhi Leonard playing outstanding defense on James and snagging 14 rebounds, and Gary Neal chipping in 10 points of his own.

Obviously, they will not be enough to beat the Heat on their own. When the San Antonio Big Three steps up like we expect them to, however, the combination of the stars and their supporting cast is simply too much for the Heat to overcome if their stars are not producing.

James will have to be great, not simply good as he’s been thus far. Wade and Bosh, shells of their former selves so far, need to return to All-Star form. Even those three will not be enough, though.

Just like it is the combination of stars and reserves creating beautiful basketball symmetry for the Spurs, the same must become true of the Heat.

One thing has become evident throughout the course of this series: The Heat and the Spurs are about as evenly matched as possible. Each team thus far has capitalized on the opposition’s poor play, playing to a draw.

Now, with five games remaining and the Spurs holding home-court advantage, the onus falls on Wade and Bosh to respond with strong games. As evenly matched as the two teams are, the Heat do appear to possess a gear that no other team—San Antonio included—have.

It’s a gear that can only be achieved if Bosh and Wade are clicking, something which is far from certain based on their play to this point.

In Game 3, I anticipate San Antonio coming out firing on all cylinders, drawing from its fans in the same way the Miami reserves seemed to on Sunday night.

I also expect Wade and Bosh to continue their struggles; nothing to this point has allowed me to expect anything else. We’ve been waiting too long for them to break out of their slumps. Until they finally do, it’s not something we should continue to bank on.

Based on those two things, expect the Spurs to take a 2-1 series lead on Tuesday night.