NBA Finals 2013: Key Factors for Game 5

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NBA Finals 2013: Key Factors for Game 5
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With huge performances from stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat evened up their series with the San Antonio Spurs.

A crucial Game 5 is next.

Wade, Spurs point guard Tony Parker and San Antonio's three-point shooting will be the biggest factors in deciding who takes the series lead.

After averaging just 14.2 points per game in the first 18 games of the postseason, Wade turned in a vintage performance for the ages in Game 4, scoring 32 points on 56 percent shooting to go along with six steals.

"Wade looked like one of the five best players in the world," said Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated

The Heat's star shooting guard has the ability to look like one of the best in every game, and if the Heat are going to take Game 5, they'll need him to repeat his latest great performance.

The Heat have an impeccable track record recently in games in which Wade scores over 20 points.

After averaging 23 points per game in the Spurs' first three playoff series, Tony Parker has been relatively quiet in the Finals against the Heat.  In the first four games of this series, he's averaged just 13.8 points per game and reached a low point in Game 4 when he scored no points in the second half.

By all accounts, Parker is the engine that makes the well-oiled Spurs' machine go. When he's not at his best, it puts the onus on a number of players not capable of handling a bigger load offensively.

The Spurs point guard is battling a hamstring injury, but he'll have two full days of rest before Game 5 to get healthy and back to his dynamic ways.

In the first four games of the Finals, the Spurs have made over 45 percent of their 91 attempted three-point shots. In order to win Game 5, they'll need to continue this long-range shooting success.

Manu Ginobili has looked like a shell of his former self all series and the Spurs have had to rely on perimeter players Danny Green and Gary Neal to make big shots from behind the arc.

Thus far, the two have responded in a big way. They've made 31 of the Spurs' 41 threes and at this point it seems more surprising when they miss than when they make from deep.

Without a fully healthy Parker, the Spurs will need to continue making threes at the same amazing pace in order to take down the Heat in Game 5.

 

I expect Parker to rebound and have a solid Game 5, but a reinvigorated Wade will ultimately prove too much for the Spurs to contend with.

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