Heat vs. Spurs: LeBron James Must Be Aggressive from Tip for Miami to Win Game 5
As we saw in Game 4, as the Big Three go, the Miami Heat go.
Miami is tied 2-2 with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals as a crucial Game 5 takes place Sunday night in San Antonio—the last home game of the season for the Spurs.
James was passive in the first three games of the Finals—no performance worse than Game 3—but that all changed in Game 4, as ESPN Stats and Info shows.
LeBron James 5-6 in 1st quarter ... here's a look at his shot chart pic.twitter.com/uhYG3DAeYC— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 14, 2013
James went for 33 points in Miami's 109-93 win in Game 4, shooting 15-for-25 from the field to go with 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
More importantly for the Heat, James was assertive early, establishing himself in the post and taking the ball to the rim. As the flow of the game went on, James gained more confidence from his play inside and used it to his advantage on the outside, where he was knocking down mid-range and outside jumpers.
I mentioned James' dismal Game 3 output earlier, but his scoring totals were way down throughout the first three games of the Finals. Take a look:
As you can see, James only eclipsed the 20-point mark once in four Finals games in 2013, which is something we're not accustomed to seeing. In last year's Finals, the least amount of points James scored was 26, as he averaged 28.8 points per game en route to an NBA Finals MVP award.
James isn't the only key for Miami, though. To me, Wade is the ultimate key for the Heat.
Which player is most important to the Heat in Game 4?
If he continues to play the way he did in Game 4 (32 points, six rebounds, four assists and six steals), Miami is going to win back-to-back titles.
But it all starts with James.
James must come out aggressive, attacking the basket and drawing fouls to get to the free-throw line. If he does that, the game will come to him, and he'll get more open looks from the outside, which is what we saw in Game 4.
If James is aggressive throughout and Wade stays active and productive, the Heat will be hanging another banner inside AmericanAirlines Arena.
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