The Heat needed to win this or face a near impossible task of coming back from 3-1 down to win in seven, and as good as they are; even I had my doubts with that.
With LeBron struggling to make an impact in game three, Wade, probably at the low point of his career, under pressure with his game-time performance during these playoffs felt like he needed to stand up and show his team that he can still do this. Problem for San Antonio was that James was playing with something to prove after extreme criticism in the last game and that other guy whose names deserts me on occasion … it’ll come to me, hang on … oh yeah, Chris Bosh.
When those three play like they did, combining for 85 points, 30 rebounds, 9 assists and 10 steals, there’s no chance for any team, I don’t care who you are. But for me, Wade was the standout performer in this game. All throughout these playoffs, he’s been written off, but the D-Wade of old came to play. He was aggressive and cunning to the basket, he shot the ball effortlessly, but most importantly, he looked relaxed out there. He didn’t turn the ball over in 40 minutes on the court and hit 32 points, pulled down six rebounds and swiped it six times, not to mention the four assists he picked up too. Oh and the ‘Eurostep’ dunk he got; slowly becoming my favourite transition move.
LeBron was LeBron again. Seems like everytime he plays a Finals game in Texas, he struggles. But with Wade’s confidence boosted, James was a different character to the one that caved under Kawhi Leonard’s pressure cooker in game three. He played with the same confidence and poise that brought Miami to the dance. My only question is how many times did he carry the ball, going for the coast-to-coast lay-up? (ESPN have the play in their highlight footage, not NBA.com)
Despite looking a little lost at times, defensively, Chris Bosh put in a solid night’s work. Did the hard work by reducing San Antonio’s second chance points and with no thrills or clutch highlights, scored when he needed too. The type of showing that the Heat need from Bosh, basically.
PARKER: PROVEN BEST PG IN THE GAME? OR WAS HIS SECOND HALF A LETDOWN?
I posed this question on my Twitter page this morning (while half-asleep), Is Tony Parker the best point guard in the league or could he be overlooked from the Chris Paul’s and Derrick Rose’s of the world just because he is European?
He was a gametime decision with a dodgy hamstring that has plagued him for a few months now, but he still plugged away and continuously kept the Spurs in the game along with the inside presence of Tim Duncan, the latter struggled defensively, I thought.
The point guard showed all the true capabilities of the pure point guard in the first half, he brought the ball up securely, led his team and dished the ball to open team-mates and when needed to, the Frenchman was more than able to score.
That all changed in the second half when Parker was left scoreless and barely noticeable on the court, leaving the Heat to take advantage against a guard playing at way below 100 percent. Perhaps the hamstring problem caught up with him or with the rest he had before game four, he was slightly fatigued (latter suggestion is a little far-fetched, maybe).
SPURS NEED GAME FIVE OR THEY’LL NEED TO REPLAY GAME ONE AGAIN
Says it all really, doesn’t it. With one more game deep in the heart of Texas, the Spurs need to win this game to assume control again before they head to sunny South Beach. This series has been about both teams simply answering back emphatically; the Spurs need to do that now, as the games get more important and pivotal. One player who is due a standout game is Manu Ginobili. Yes, he’s featured in this series but what he’s contributed is very little. His play off the bench has been a vital component of the Spurs at both ends all season and for many seasons before that, he needs his time to shine.
Published late because of the need for rest after watching this until 5am (UK Time).