Heat vs. Spurs: Miami Will Even Series in Game 4 Behind LeBron James

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IJune 13, 2013

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 09:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball in the fourth quarter while taking on the San Antonio Spurs 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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Miami Heat were completely out-hustled and out-matched in Game 3 by the San Antonio Spurs, but I wouldn't expect the same in Game 4 from LeBron James and Co.

Miami watched as San Antonio drained 16 three-pointers and shot an even 50 percent from beyond the arc as the Spurs cruised to a 113-77 loss while James scored just 15 points on 7-of-21 shooting and failing to attempt a free throw.

ESPN Stats & Info shows James' abysmal shot chart from Tuesday night:

LeBron is now averaging 16.7 points per game and shooting a mere 38.9 percent from the floor in the finals and knows his game has to change for the Heat to regain control of the series, according to ESPN's Michael Wallace

As dark as it was last night, it can't get no darker than that, especially for me. So I guarantee I'll be better for tomorrow (Game 4) for sure. I have to do whatever it takes. I mean, 7 for 21 isn't going to cut it. It's impossible for me to go 7 for 21, shoot 33 percent from the field and not have free throws. You have to figure out ways offensively that you can make an impact.

Call me crazy, but I believe LeBron when he says he's going to do whatever it takes to turn the ship around.

After watching him progress from 2003 as a rookie in Cleveland to his four MVP seasons—none more impressive than the one he put together this year—James has proven that doubting him doesn't go very far.

That's as long as James plays the way he should be playing.

At 6'8", 250 pounds, James is a freight train when driving to the basket and needs to utilize that mentality against the Spurs in Game 4. After all, LeBron is at his best when he's taking the ball to the basket.

Whether he's getting to the rim and drawing fouls or kicking it out to open shooters like Ray Allen and Mike Miller, LeBron has to be as aggressive as possible for Miami to turn the series around.

Dwyane Wade is performing well considering his average play throughout the rest of the playoffs, and although Chris Bosh certainly isn't playing up to his potential, Bosh's game is suffering because of James' lack of aggression.

There's no doubt that Kawhi Leonard is doing an impeccable job on James defensively, but I'm almost positive that LeBron has the ability to muscle his way past the smaller defender to create scoring opportunities in the paint.

Erik Spoelstra should be looking to establish James in the post early and often in Game 4, which is something LeBron was working on during practice on Wednesday, as the Heat's official Twitter account noted:

The fact of the matter is that it's highly unlikely that San Antonio can match the shooting barrage it displayed in Game 3. If the Heat play the defense we all know they're capable of, the tables will turn.

Given the way Miller (8-of-9) and Allen (6-of-9) are shooting the ball from three in the finals, the Heat have their role players in place—now they need their superstar to take hold of the reigns.

Behind a strong performance from LeBron, Miami evens the series in Game 4.


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