San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat: Game 4 Grades and Analysis

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San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat: Game 4 Grades and Analysis
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The San Antonio Spurs are one win away from an NBA title after defeating the Miami Heat 107-86 at the American Airlines Arena Thursday.

San Antonio now leads the 2014 NBA Finals 3-1.

The Spurs dominated every facet of Game 4. They outrebounded the Heat 44-27, and won the assist battle 25-13.

From about halfway through the first quarter until the final buzzer, San Antonio had complete control of the game, thanks to a complete team effort.

 

Key Player Grades: San Antonio Spurs

 

Tony Parker, Point Guard

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For the first time in this series, Parker dominated the game as a scorer, dropping 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

He scored driving to the rim and pulling up from mid-range, and Mario Chalmers, LeBron James and anyone else who defended him was pretty much helpless.

On the other end, Parker helped hold Chalmers to yet another dud.

Grade: A

 

Tim Duncan, Center/Power Forward

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Duncan became the NBA's official leader in playoff minutes in this game, passing the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

His longevity is truly remarkable, and it's fitting that he'd produce yet another double-double on the night he broke the record.

He finished the game with 11 rebounds and 10 points, and once again played stellar defense on Chris Bosh, all but eliminating him from the game.

Grade: B+

 

Kawhi Leonard, Small Forward

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After blowing up for 29 points in Game 3, Leonard came back and played perhaps the best all-around game of any Spur Thursday.

Just look how he filled up the box score: 20 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals.

And oh yeah, he had to defend James the entire time he was on the floor. That alone is a full-time job, but Leonard obviously wanted to do more.

Grade: A+

 

Danny Green, Shooting Guard

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Green the three-point specialist is back. He scored most of his points inside the arc in Game 3, but every attempt he took Thursday came from downtown.

He finished 3-of-5 from out there to get his nine points.

On the other end, Green didn't impact the game as much defensively as he typically does due to foul trouble. But when he was on the floor, he was a big part of Dwyane Wade's struggles.

Grade: B

 

Boris Diaw, Power Forward

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Diaw remains one of the biggest stories of the Finals, as his incredible all-around game helped propel the Spurs to another blowout.

He was matched up against Wade for long stretches of the game, and finished with nine rebounds, nine assists and eight points.

A year or two ago, no one would've thought Diaw would be dominating Wade in the 2014 Finals, but that's exactly what happened. The Spurs exploited the matchup by posting Diaw and even having a couple of isolation sets with the two on the perimeter. 

Grade: A

 

Manu Ginobili, Shooting Guard

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It says a lot about the depth of the Spurs that they can obliterate the two-time defending champions with their third-best player scoring just seven points.

Even when Ginobili can't get going, San Antonio always has guys ready and able to step up and provide a spark in his stead.

Grade: B-

 

Bench

Altogether, San Antonio's bench scored 41 points on 15-of-22 shooting, once again dominating Miami's second unit. Actually, not really dominating, but more like brutally crushing them.

Patty Mills led the scoring charge with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Splitter pitched in with six points, and even Matt Bonner added three points plus a running hook in the lane.

Grade: A+

 

Key Player Grades: Miami Heat

 

LeBron James, Small Forward/Power Forward

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Poor LeBron. The guy just could not get any help in this one. He scored 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while only two other starters reached double figures. And Wade and Bosh barely got there.

James scored 19 of his 28 in the third quarter, when he tried to single-handedly lead a charge to get Miami back in the game. Unfortunately, the rest of his team went 1-of-9 for two points in that frame.

Miami needs more than a couple guys to step up in San Antonio if they want to prolong this series.

Grade: A

 

Dwyane Wade, Shooting Guard

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This was just a disastrous performance for Wade. He went 3-of-13 from the field for 10 points, and just looked like a shell of his former self.

During the halftime show, ESPN's Bill Simmons cited the fact that this is Miami's third game in five days. With the maintenance program Miami had in place for Wade in the regular season, his legs just don't appear to be conditioned for this.

Grade: F

 

Chris Bosh, Power Forward

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Bosh started hot, but was basically removed form the game after the first quarter. He took only four shots in Game 3, and just seven in the last three quarters of Game 4.

He finished the game with 12 points—six of which came in the first quarter—on 5-of-11 shooting

Perhaps even more important than his nonexistence offensively is the fact that he gives Miami almost nothing on the boards.

He starts at center and grabbed just four rebounds in 39 minutes.

Grade: D+

 

Mario Chalmers, Point Guard

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Chalmers' nightmarish Finals continued as he scored just four points on 2-of-6 shooting. The ball looked like a sack of potatoes clanking off the rim on a couple of his jumpers.

On the other end, he obviously had no chance of containing Parker. That matchup is as lopsided as the Battle of Thermopylae.

To Chalmers' credit, he did dish out a team-high five assists. So it wasn't all terrible, right?

Grade: F

 

Rashard Lewis, Power Forward/Small Forward

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After resurrecting the ghosts of the 2005 Seattle SuperSonics for the last two games, Lewis finally regressed toward the mean.

He finished Game 4 with just two points on 1-of-4 shooting. And as usual, he did nothing as a rebounder. He finished the game with one board, and was replaced in the second-half starting lineup by Ray Allen.

Grade: F

 

Ray Allen, Shooting Guard

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Allen went for eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, and as noted above, started the second half as part of a small-ball lineup that failed miserably.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra may have thought that forcing Diaw to guard a smaller player would free up the offense, but that obviously backfired. 

Grade: C

 

Bench

Miami's best player off the bench was James Jones. He played just under three minutes—all in garbage time—and scored 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting.

That should tell you all you need to know about Miami's second unit—or perhaps Spoelstra's struggles to find a decent rotation.

The rest of the bench went 4-of-10 for 11 points.

Grade: D-

 

What's Next?

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Spurs will now have a chance to close out the series at home, and they clearly have the Heat on the ropes.

Miami looks to be in need of a small miracle to figure out how to slow down the offensive machine, especially in San Antonio.

Game 5 is set for Sunday, June 15 at 8 p.m. ET.

 

Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.

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