Can Miami Heat Big 3 Prove Unbeatable Again In Game 5 of 2013 NBA Finals?
Inconsistently dominant is not a phrase often associated with the Miami Heat.
To be honest, it's not a term frequently expressed at all. Inconsistently dominant, however, is exactly what the Heat have been.
Miami hasn't lost back-to-back games during the NBA playoffs (it's actually been since January). But the Heat also haven't won two games in a row since snagging sequential victories in Game 5 of the second round against the Chicago Bulls and Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.
Going nearly a month without two straight wins isn't the Heat. Postseason included, they're supposed to win with ease.
Behind subpar playoff campaigns from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and a LeBron James who has, at times, struggled to establish his in-game identity next to his slumping counterparts, the Heat appear mortal.
It took seven games for Miami to eliminate what was considered an inferior, albeit scrappy, Pacers team. Four contests into the NBA Finals, and the Heat are also at a 2-2 deadlock with the San Antonio Spurs.
Nothing at this stage of the season will come easy, even for the Heatles. Vulnerability isn't supposed to surface either. More is expected of Miami. More than what was seen during the Eastern Conference Finals and much more than what has been given during the finals.
And more is exactly what the Heat gave in Game 4.
Wade had a breakout performance, the kind that makes you believe he's back to his old self.
When he puts forth a poor display, like he has for most of the postseason, excuses are made, sometimes even by Wade himself. Then there are exploits like that of Game 4. Posting 32 points, six rebounds, four assists, six steals and one block is one heck of a performance.
He became the fourth NBA player since 1986 to notch such numbers, all on a bum knee no less. LeBron's Game 4 was quite impressive as well.
One game after going 7-of-21 from the floor for just 15 points, passively directing his team to a 36-point blowout, he erupted for 33 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks on 15-of-25 shooting.
The third member of the Big Three, Chris Bosh ensured James and Wade weren't acting alone in Game 4. He pitched in 20 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks of his own. San Antonio will have trouble competing with the Heat when all three go off like that.
They accounted for 85 of the Heat's 109 points. Add in Ray Allen's 14, and four players scored all but 10 of the team's points (99) in Game 4. That can happen again. Game 5 can be taken over by LeBron and Wade and Bosh and even Allen.
How will the Heat fare in Game 5?
If it is, the Spurs are in serious trouble. Serious, inescapable, guaranteed-to-lose distress.
The Heat aren't built to fight San Antonio's depth with depth. They're equipped to annihilate any and all opponents on the backs of their star power.
They don't need six or seven guys to score in double figures to win; they have three (arguably four) players who can score enough for seven or eight or nine or 10 together. Their Big Three is in place to resemble unbeatable, to be invincible on any given night, whether they've been struggling or not and whether they're playing big or small.
Far from perfect, but able to dismantle adversaries like the Spurs—that's Miami. That's who the Heat were in Game 4. That's who they have the potential to be again in Game 5.
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