Game 5 NBA Finals 2013: Players That Must Step Up After Poor Showing in Game 4
Throughout the NBA Finals, teams and individuals have been able to redeem themselves after poor performances in the previous game. After Game 4, there are a number of players looking for a better showing on Sunday.
The ability to turn things around on a game-by-game basis has been a bit of a theme so far between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. After a close first game, the two teams alternated victories in dominant fashion over the next three contests, each ending with at least a double-digit spread.
Additionally, a number of players produced big turnarounds, like Dwyane Wade's 32-point showing in Game 4 after averaging just 14.3 points in the first three games of the series.
Game 5 will go a long way in deciding the finals, and it will be up to these players to provide a stronger showing than they did the last time out.
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
For many years, Manu Ginobili has been considered one of the "Big Three" in San Antonio along with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. However, it's clear that the guard is no longer at the same level of the other two in this group.
The Argentine averaged only 11.8 points per game during the regular season, and that number has dropped to 10.6 in the playoffs. In the last three games, he only has 17 total points as he's tried to help the Spurs off the bench.
While he is taking fewer shots than usual, he is also missing the attempts he is taking. This is a problem for an offense that prides itself on its efficiency.
Ginobili must improve his performance, or he can no longer justify his spot on the floor.
Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat
As the series has progressed, Udonis Haslem has continued to lose playing time as the Heat try out a smaller lineup against the Spurs. Based on the play of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Game 4, it seems unlikely the veteran gets more time on the court in the future.
The two star players combined for 24 rebounds in the win, as Haslem managed to get five fouls in only 10 minutes.
While the forward is not expected to provide much scoring, his defensive ability is extremely important in this series. If he cannot come in and play mistake-free basketball, he will continue to get fewer minutes until he is left out of the game altogether.
Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs
During the regular season, Tiago Splitter was a big contributor on both ends of the floor. He averaged 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and totaled 11 double-doubles on the year.
This is hard to believe from watching him in the NBA Finals. Not only is he averaging fewer than six points per game, but he only has 11 rebounds in the entire series.
San Antonio has a big rebounding advantage in this matchup, although that did not appear to be the case in Game 4 as the Heat had a 41-36 advantage on the glass. Duncan continues to do his job, but it is up to Splitter to get more production in the middle of the court to help out the rest of the team.
Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat
With James handling the ball most of the time, Mario Chalmers is not a normal point guard who runs the offense. Still, he needs to help the team with smart and efficient play.
In the last two games, the young player has not been able to provide that for Miami.
Since scoring 19 points in Game 2, Chalmers has totaled only six points and six assists in the past two games. On the other hand, he has eight turnovers and has made only two of his nine shots in that stretch.
The most recent game was all about the three superstars of Wade, James and Bosh. However, Chalmers' struggles are hurting the entire team's efforts. He needs to come back with a better showing on Sunday.
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