After a Game 4 rout of the Miami Heat, the San Antonio Spurs are just one game away from getting their retribution with a 2014 NBA Finals victory.
The two-time defending champion Heat will attempt to extend the series with a Game 5 win in San Antonio. However, Miami has a rough road ahead, as no team has ever come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.
LeBron James touched on the task ahead during a press conference with the Associated Press, via ESPN.com:
"They smashed us. Two straight home games got off to awful starts. They came in and were much better than us in these last two games. It's just that simple. We put ourselves in a position where it is about making history."
Will James and Co. take a step toward history, or will the Spurs put the final nail in the Heat's coffin on Sunday?
While we await the answer to this question, let's take a look at the game's viewing information and odds, and predict how it's likely to unfold.
Heat vs. Spurs Game 5 Viewing Information
Series: Spurs lead 3-1
When: Sunday, June 15
Where: AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Odds: Spurs -6 (via OddsShark.com)
ESPN's RJ Bell tweeted an interesting statistic regarding these odds:
Over their two-game stretch in Miami, the Spurs looked to be too much for the Heat to handle.
Led by the surging Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio shot 59.4 percent from the field in Game 3 and 57.1 percent in Game 4.
The depth of this Spurs team is simply remarkable. Whether it's Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or Danny Green, San Antonio is getting production from its entire roster.
NBA legend Magic Johnson put it perfectly:
Another dominant performance by the entire Spurs team in the blowout victory over the Heat!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 13, 2014
In Game 4, 13 different Spurs players contributed to the team's 107 points.
It's not only on offense, either. San Antonio has been dominating the paint recently, out-rebounding the Heat 44-27 in Game 4 due to double-doubles by both Duncan and Leonard.
Why is this?
Simply put, the Heat's depth just isn't there.
This is a team that relies on James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to get things done. When one or two of these players can't find a rhythm, Miami doesn't have bench players who are capable of stepping up.
Conversely, when the Spurs bench comes alive, the team has far too many weapons for the Heat to contain—hence San Antonio's stellar shooting percentage in the series.
Fox Sports Live summed it up perfectly with this tweet:
How does this lack of support affect LeBron? Well, when he tries to do too much, his numbers begin to falter as well. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweeted this telling stat:
LeBron James' plus-minus in Game 4's rout was -21. That was the lowest plus-minus of any player on the Heat or Spurs.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 13, 2014
Yes, the Spurs seem destined to win it all this year, but will Game 5 be the last of the series?
San Antonio plays well both at home and on the road. Miami tends to be more of a home team, but with its backs against the wall, that may change in Game 5.
James will attempt to put his team on his back, but he'll need more help from his supporting cast to get it done. Meanwhile, the Spurs continue to roll in front of an amped-up home crowd.
This one will be over in short order.
Spurs 102, Heat 97