The only reason the Miami Heat won game four of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers was because LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 70 points.
It was a great performance by the two super stars and the entire basketball world better believe Wade and James can do that every game they play in together if they wanted to.
On the other hand, there is one problem: The Heat are not going to beat the Pacers if only two players are playing great basketball. The rest of the team has to wake up.
Mike Miller was signed before last season to hit big shots; he’s been absent. Shane Battier was signed this year to knock down his Bruce Bowen-like three-ball in the corner and D-up some of the best forwards and guards in the league. When he is on Indiana’s Danny Granger, Paul George or the occasional David West assignment, he is getting ate up.
Udonis Haslem has never been a blow you away guy, but has always done the little things a box score doesn’t notice. He has had his moments but they are few and far between compared to the rate his team needs them.
We all know the Chris Bosh saga. They need him but knew he was going to be out for the series. It wasn’t the shock treatment the Chicago Bulls went through in the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers when it seemed like everyone inked to a contract to play at the United Center was missing a game or the rest of the series like Derrick Rose.
Since they knew he was going to be gone, the role players on the team have to step up.
Miller, Battier, Haslem, Mario Chalmers and James Jones are all productive players in their niche areas. If they don’t come to perform in game five, the Heat are going to be behind 3-2 in the series.
The Indiana Pacers are gelling as a team from George Hill to George to Granger to West to Roy Hibbert. They’re starting lineup includes three players who have been All-Stars (Granger, West, Hibbert) and two others who are probably going to the exhibition game in the near future.
When they’re all playing at a high level, which is right now, two guys are not going to beat them in a seven game series.
Just in case no one was watching: Kobe Bryant scored 42 points on 18-of-33 shooting from the field and the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder by 16 points in an elimination game Monday.
It doesn’t matter who great one or two men are, teams win championships.
Wade and James better snap their team into reality or the Indiana Pacers are going to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NBA playoffs and send the Heat back to Miami without a trip to even the Eastern Conference Finals.
The one, two, three…seven NBA Championships is going to have to wait to next year if the Heat don’t wake up.
Tags: 2012 NBA Playoffs Chicago Bulls Chris Bosh Danny Granger David West Dwyane Wade George Hill Indiana Pacers Kobe Bryant Lebron James Los Angeles Lakers Mario Chalmers Miami Heat Mike Miller NBA Championship NBA Eastern Conference Finals NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Oklahoma City Thunder Paul George Philadelphia 76ers Roy Hibbert Shane Battier Udonis Haslem