Chris Bosh eats crystal balls for breakfast.
Confidence could be eluding the Miami Heat on the brink of NBA Finals elimination. They trail the San Antonio Spurs 3-1 in the series, a deficit no team has ever successfully erased in the Finals. Game 5 could mark the end of their season and quest for a third straight championship.
Unless they win. And Bosh says they will.
“We’re not going down, we’re going to win this game tonight,” he said Sunday, via Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver. “We’re going to come, prepare like we need to do. Plain and simple, we’re going to win this game.”
That's some guarantee.
The Heat lost Games 3 and 4 on their home floor by a combined 40 points. Now they're tasked with winning three straight contests—two of which must come on the road—against the scorching Spurs, who have shot at least 57 percent from the floor in their two most recent victories.
How can they prevail in Game 5 and move within two wins of making history? CBS Sports' Zach Harper says it comes down to the Heat's work ethic:
If the Heat are going to make history and win this series, it starts and ends with effort. It's not to say the Heat aren't trying in this series, but their anticipation and execution of a defensive game plan has been poor at best throughout the majority of this series. It's the little things such as navigating screens to close out on shooters in the corners, blitzing pick-and-rolls to force them to side instead of allowing the ball handler to turn the corner, and finding ways to turn San Antonio mistakes into momentum-shifters for the Heat.
Turning the tables on San Antonio demands the Heat come out with more fire than they did in Games 3 and 4. Effort wasn't an issue the entire time, but they stepped onto the floor, lethargic and lost, and allowed the Spurs to build huge, insurmountable leads by getting whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it.
Most of the responsibility lies with LeBron James, because of course it does. He's had a good series—he's totaled 50 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in the last two games—but everyone is always looking to him.
That is, in part, because of how Dwyane Wade and Bosh are playing. They have been wildly inconsistent. Bosh himself has disappeared for stretches at a time. The duo combined for just 22 points on 8-of-24 shooting in Game 4.
We can harp on James' lack of dominance or the Heat's poor shot selection—the Spurs forced Miami into 45 contested shot attempts in Game 4, according to NBA.com—but it really comes down to support. James needs it. He needs Bosh and Wade to play like superstars, otherwise their shot at making history and winning a third consecutive title vanishes like James' sidekicks did Thursday night.
"I don't care about odds," Chris Bosh said following Game 4, per Harper. "Odds are for people that can't do it."
Odds will be for the Heat, too, if Bosh and Wade don't show up in Game 5.
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