Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio in scoring with 20 points and three assists, with Tony Parker right behind him with 19 points and two assists. The Heat’s LeBron James put up more than both of them, but his 28 points were not enough to gain an edge, as Miami fell behind almost immediately and was never able to gain enough momentum to catch up.
With the series currently at 3-1 in favor of the Spurs, the chances that Miami is able to turn its game around and three-peat look bleak.
Here are the three key themes of the social chatter on Twitter as the series returns back to the Spurs’ home court in San Antonio:
The Heat Can’t Win Games by Depending Solely on LeBron James
The other two-thirds of Miami’s Big Three didn’t appear to show up in Game 4. A paltry effort from both players left Bosh with a total of only 12 points for the night while Wade ended the game with only 10.
As the chart below shows, James wasn’t getting much help from his teammates, which will make it very difficult for the Heat to compete with a well-balanced and cohesive Spurs team in Game 5, which might be the final matchup in the series.
The Spurs’ dominance seemed to wear on the Heat as the night went on. The stats from players not named LeBron James were staggeringly low.
ESPN writer Ethan Strauss summed up the situation via Twitter:
The Heat have an opportunity in Game 5 to improve upon the debacle that was Game 4, but at this point, it may be unrealistic to think there is a chance the Heat can win three in a row to win the championship.
Dwyane Wade, Once a Force for the Heat, May Be Half the Man He Used to Be
Wade, who has had somewhat of a topsy-turvy season, was deemed “terrible” following the loss in Game 4 by Bill Simmons in ESPN’s postgame broadcast, according to Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal.
He wasn’t alone. This clever tweet from CBS Sports writer Zach Harper popped up Thursday night during Game 4, a reference to both Wade’s poor play and James’ cramps in Game 1 of the series:
This quote from Fromal summed up Wade’s problems and lack of effort in Game 4.
Wade doesn't have any spring. He doesn't play with confidence, and when he does, it's misplaced (more misplaced confidence later). The possessions in which he dribbles down the court and shoots a contested mid-range jumper without bothering to make a single pass are killing any semblance of offense for Miami.
If Miami wants any chance at winning in Game 5, Wade will need to show up in top form, especially away from home in San Antonio.
San Antonio Is the Superior Team Heading into Game 5
San Antonio definitely has a chip on its shoulder after losing last year to the Heat in the Finals. This year, the Spurs have played much better than Miami and are the favorites to win the championship. San Antonio Express-News writer Jeff McDonald tweeted out this quote from Tony Parker in regards to his thoughts on closing out the series in Game 5:
According to Michael Wallace of the Heat Index, the series shouldn’t be looked at from what the Heat have done wrong as a team, but rather from how well San Antonio has been playing.
Sometimes you just have to examine the evidence at hand and trust what your eyes and the scoreboard are telling you. This series isn't about what's wrong with Miami, the two-time defending champ. It's about what has gone extremely well for San Antonio. Tony Parker was asked after Game 4 whether he was surprised how superb his team is playing. He countered by saying: It's simply Spurs basketball.
At this point, it does appear as though the Spurs are the better team this year, and with a 3-1 advantage over the Heat, San Antonio will more than likely be adding a fifth championship title to the team’s storied history.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com
Mike Martinez is a contributor for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter at @MikeMartinezBR