Thursday night’s game 4 of the NBA Finals is without a doubt a must win for the Miami Heat, who trail the San Antonio Spurs 2-1 in this championship round. The Heat won’t be eliminated if they lose tonight but a 3-1 deficit would be too much for them to overcome. They would have to beat the Spurs three games straight and that is a very tall task that I don’t believe the Heat are capable of getting done.
We've all heard about how the Heat haven’t lost two games in a row since early January, but what most people don’t realize is that the Spurs haven’t lost two games in a row, with the big 3 healthy, since early December … an even longer streak than the Heat.
So obviously beating the Spurs three games straight is highly unlikely. Speaking of the Spurs big 3 being healthy, the question of the day is how healthy is point guard Tony Parker? Parker suffered a strained hamstring in game 3. Parker left the game early after the injury, then returned to in the fourth quarter to play two minutes before resting for the rest of the game due to the blowout. Parker says that he'll play in game 4, but how healthy he is remains to be seen.
The Heat obviously have a much better chance of winning if Parker isn’t close to full strength, so that is something to keep a close eye on. I expect the Heat to come out strong in game 4 after that embarrassing 36 point defeat in game 3. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade have to come out with urgency and set the tone early for the Heat. If they do that and play desperate, then I expect them to win this game. The more desperate team usually wins when two equal teams play each other.
And the Heat are definitely the more desperate team at this point in the series. They must win this game in order to get to a game 6 in Miami, which would greatly improve their chances of winning another NBA title. If not then this series is most likely over in 5 and Tim Duncan and the Spurs will have won their fifth championship and the Heat will begin what will be a tumultuous offseason, filled with trade rumors and questions about the big 3’s future in MIA.
Either way it’ll be fun to watch how it all plays out. Enjoy!
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