The NBA Finals have featured plenty of drama up to this point, with the series continuing to go back and forth. With Game 5 fast approaching, there’s plenty to talk about as this game will give one team a 3-2 lead in the series.
The Miami Heat keep fighting back in this series. After going down 0-1 and 1-2, the Heat found ways to take over in Game 2 and Game 4.
Mario Chalmers stepped up big in Game 2, putting up 19 points along with four rebounds and two assists. However, he’s been relatively nonexistent for the rest of the series. He was able to put up eight points in Game 1, but he had zero in Game 3 and only six in Game 4.
The fact that Wade finally reemerged in Game 4 was a huge lift for the Heat. His knee problems have been widely documented, yet it seemed like he felt fine in the game, going 14-for-25 from the field and recording six steals while playing 40 minutes.
LeBron has had his struggles in this series, but he has played through them like a truly elite player. He has pushed himself to make big plays, and that was clearly highlighted by the ridiculous block on Tiago Splitter.
In order for the Heat to win Game 5, along with the series, Wade and Bosh must continue to put up big numbers. The whole reason the team was so dominant throughout the season was because of the Big Three, and if LeBron is the only of them who's making plays, the Spurs can shut the Heat down.
For the Spurs, Game 1 was decided thanks to Tony Parker and his solid performance. He had 20 points on 9-of-18 shooting along with six assists, but nothing compared to this clutch shot at the end of the game.
In Game 3, Danny Green and Gary Neal were able to light it up. While all of the focus was on Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, these two were able to make nearly everything they shot from behind the arc. The two combined for 51 points on 13-for-19 from downtown.
That’s just plain ridiculous.
Kawhi Leonard has continued to play solid defense, and has been stifling LeBron in each game. Sure, LeBron has gotten to him from time to time, but Leonard's defense has been a big reason why this series is tied up at 2-2. Max Brestos of ESPN tweeted out this quote from Hubie Brown.
Hubie Brown "Kawhi Leonard has been the best defender on Lebron since he (James) came into the League".— Max Bretos (@mbretosESPN) June 13, 2013
The biggest problem with the Spurs has been the struggles of Ginobili. For a guy that the team has depended on so much off the bench, he’s really struggled in this series. He’s currently averaging only 7.5 points per game, and he scored just five points on 1-for-5 from the field in Game 4.
Although Parker has done a great job throughout the series, he is now going to be struggling with a hamstring injury. Rod Boone reported this from Parker, showing the severity of the situation.
Tony Parker: "My hamstring could tear at any time." Said if this was the regular season, he'd definitely be resting. #nbafinals— Rod Boone (@rodboone) June 15, 2013
If the Spurs are hoping to take Game 5, they’re going to need to get hot from behind the arc once again. They shot 50 percent from three in Game 4, and guys like Green and Neal will need to find their touch once again.
This is a tough game to predict, but I think the Heat will pull this one out.
Parker is hurt and Ginobili is struggling. It’s no longer a secret that Green and Neal can drain the long ball. Meanwhile, the Heat looked dominant in both of their wins, and Wade finally looks like his old self.
When LeBron was with the Cleveland Cavaliers and they played the Spurs in the NBA Finals, Duncan had this to say to James after the series was over.
Like Duncan said, this is LeBron’s league now. He will be in control of his own destiny to win his second ring, and he will do whatever it takes to make that a reality.
Final Score: Spurs 86, Heat 95