Spurs vs. Heat: Players Who Must Improve in Game 4 of NBA Finals

David DanielsSenior Writer IJune 11, 2014

Jun 10, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts during the fourth quarter of game three of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Numerous players have room for improvement after the San Antonio Spurs' 111-92 thrashing of the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, especially Heat players.

In fact, if some players don't improve in Game 4, their team is almost guaranteed to lose.

Here's whose team needs them to step their game up the most.


Jun 10, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) talks with head coach Gregg Popovich during the first half of game three of the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA T

3. PG Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

Parker didn't play poorly on Tuesday night, but he had his lowest scoring and assist totals of the Finals. He finished with 15 points, four assists and the lowest shooting percentage, 40.0, of the Spurs starters. ESPN's Skip Bayless criticized how Parker ran their offense.

His performance didn't hurt San Antonio because everyone else played so well. But it can't count on Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to shoot a combined 17-21 from the field for 44 points on a nightly basis. The Spurs will likely need more from Parker than a 40.0 percent shooting effort, his fifth worst of the postseason, in Game 4.


Eric Gay/Associated Press

2. PG Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat

After Chalmers' two-point Game 3 performance, photos like this began to circulate on Twitter.

Chalmers' game has been trash this series. He's averaging 3.3 points per game. He also has as many turnovers as assists.

Miami doesn't ask much of Chalmers. He's the fifth option on its starting offense. He simply needs to sink wide-open shots when the Spurs double off of him.

But after shooting 0-of-5 from the field on Tuesday, he's 3-of-12 for the series. Chalmers has had several memorable, clutch moments over the last three years for the Heat. He needs to come up with another or two, or he'll continue to be a liability.


May 8, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (left) talks with center Chris Bosh (center) and  guard Dwyane Wade (right) during the second half in game two of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at American

1. Big Three, Miami Heat

Yes, I'm lumping LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh into one big need for improvement because they all played major roles in Tuesday's loss.

James and Wade combined for 12 turnovers in Game 3. San Antonio as a team had 12 turnovers. That's unacceptable.

And James, despite playing 40 minutes and shooting an extremely efficient 9-of-14 from the field, only finished with 22 points. He only shot the ball five more times than Norris Cole. That's unacceptable.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Bosh touched the ball significantly less on offense in Game 3 than in Games 1 and 2.

Whether this is Bosh's fault for not moving without the basketball or his teammates' fault for not finding him, it, too, is unacceptable. For Miami to win Game 4, Bosh needs the ball more, Wade and James need to protect the basketball more and James also must be more aggressive on offense. Luckily for the Heat, these are all easily correctable mistakes.


David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.