Entering Game 5 in San Antonio, the Miami Heat are in position to take over the NBA Finals.
Having dismantled the Spurs in Game 4 on the Spurs’ home floor, 109-93, behind MVP-like performances by two of their top players—Dwyane Wade and LeBron James—the Heat enter their final away game of the series in the finals’ 2-3-2 series format.
The series is tied at two apiece. By looking at the series, it may be even in the win column chart, but entering Sunday night for Game 5, the momentum is clearly in Miami’s favor.
It’s not just that LeBron finally looked like LeBron for the first time in this finals, on his way to 33 points and 11 rebounds. It’s not just that Dwyane Wade looked like the Dwyane Wade of the 2006 NBA Finals, tallying 32 points, six rebounds and four assists on 14-of-25 shooting.
It’s not only that the Heat are coming together as a team at the right time.
It’s that the Spurs are coming apart at the worst time.
Although the Spurs played the Heat competitively until the fourth quarter of Game 4, their main players—as has been the case for most of this series—were non-factors. Tim Duncan contributed 20 points, but that contribution was offset by Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli’s no-shows. Parker looked injured. Ginobli looked older than Duncan.
The Heat’s ‘Big Three’ came out to play. The Spurs’ ‘Big Three’ would have been better sleeping it off at home.
Parker was 7-of-16 for 15 points, but he only got to the free-throw-line three times. He was shut out in the second half, as all 15 of his points were scored in the first half, when the Spurs were matching basket-for-basket with the Heat.
Ginobli continued his empty play in Game 4 with five points on 1-of-5 shooting. Manu did not score until the final minutes of the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.
To make matters worse, it’s been said by Parker that his hamstring ‘could tear at anytime’, possibly explaining why he was unable to score in the second half.
For a series that looked so disastrous for the Heat just three days prior, right before Game 4 tipped off, now is in their favor.
It is now the Spurs that are in a disastrous position heading into Game 5.