If you are a Miami Heat fan, Games 3 and 4 of the 2014 NBA Finals was a living nightmare for you.
It couldn’t have been much worse than it was. After winning Game 2 on the road in San Antonio and tying up the series 1 to 1, things seemed to be going well for LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Well, obviously all of that ended in Game 3 as the San Antonio Spurs just destroyed Miami, and it was even uglier in Game 4 as the Miami Heat fans were booing their own team (at least that’s what we assume they were booing at.)
Now the Heat are down 3 to 1 in the series, and it seems all hope is lost. The Miami Heat are dead…right?
As bad as the Heat looked in Games 3 and 4, this series is not over yet. As long as LeBron James is on the roster, Miami has a slight chance to at least win Game 5.
We’ve seen the Heat in this situation before. It was in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. The Heat won the first two games of the series taking a 2-0 lead, and then lost Games 3, 4, and 5. Miami was trailing 3 games to 2 and on the brink of elimination.
At this time, LeBron had 0 rings and everyone was criticizing him and wondering if he would ever win a ring. Considering they would have to win at the TD Garden in Boston to keep their season alive, everyone had written the Miami Heat off, and thought the series was over and that the Boston Celtics would advance to the NBA Finals.
Well, that didn’t happen.
LeBron James rose to the occasion with a dominant Game 6 against the Celtics, and to this day it is arguably LeBron’s best game of his career. Here are the highlights of that historic game:
In that Game 6 LeBron dropped 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Heat went on to win Game 7 of that series of course and won the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. We all thought the Miami Heat were dead after losing Game 5 vs. the Celtics….but they weren’t.
Go back to the NBA Finals last year between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. The two teams split the first 2 games of the series, and it was tied at 1 game apiece headed to San Antonio for Games 3, 4, and 5 (2-3-2 format.)
The Miami Heat were blown out of the gym in Game 3 last year, losing to the Spurs 113-77. For those of you who can’t do math, they lost by 36 points.
Many people doubted the Heat could come back and win the series, or even win another game, since last year the next two games were on the road in San Antonio. That was how the Heat won the NBA Finals the previous year against the Thunder. They split the first two road games (like the Spurs did) and had 3 straight home games. Miami was able to win all three of their home games to win the NBA Finals.
The Spurs were in that same position after winning their first home game, and many thought they could do what the Heat had done the previous year, and win an NBA championship by winning 3 straight home games to close out the series.
But they didn’t. The Miami Heat responded with a win in Game 4 and tied up the series. Here’s a “micro-movie” of that game:
After that dominant Game 4 win, the Spurs responded with a Game 5 win of their own, and were one win away from an NBA championship. Heading back to Miami with two chances to win one game to close out the NBA Finals.
It is hard to beat the San Antonio Spurs any night, but it is extra hard to beat them win they are on the verge of winning another ring, right? Yes it is, but the Miami Heat somehow were able to win Game 6 (to this day I have no idea how they won Game 6) but nonetheless they did, Ray Allen deserves a lot of the credit for that, as we all remember his clutch three-pointer to keep the Heat’s season alive.
In conclusion, the Miami Heat always seem to play their best basketball when we all think they won’t. When we all think they are done, they always seem to come through in the clutch.
The Heat will need the Spurs to cooperate with them and to actually miss some shots, as they didn’t miss many in Games 3 and 4.
My prediction for Game 5 isn’t a very popular one, but I have a weird feeling that as bad as the Miami Heat have played the last few games, they will find a way to keep their season alive, winning Game 5 by a score of 99 to 93.
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