Jun 6, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James answers questions during a news conference at Spurs Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Familiar Situation: Heat in Another Early Series Must Win Game

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Hidden behind the irrational cramp jokes, the sports drink supremacy battle, and the broken A/C at the AT&T Center, (it’s now been fixed ), is the fact that for a second straight series the Heat find themselves down 1-0.

It’s also the third straight Finals that Miami has dropped Game 1, (obviously the Heat won the last two, so take that for what you will).

If it was any other team, they would have probably been running around in a panic these last few off days.

Jun 7, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) during practice before game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals at Spurs Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

And yet, here stands the Heat.

Confident, Calm, and Collected.

One of my favorite random historical stats is why the fan base should feel the same way:

Those wins came against quality opponents too:

This stat was discredited by some, especially after the Heat dropped GM1 to Indiana last round. Critics said this was a worse Miami team and it had no bearing on a series against a hungry Pacers roster.

Obviously, that stat wasn’t what won the Heat the Eastern Conference Finals, but that stat still remains a prominent one until they lose a series.

What’s even more jaw-dropping is how Miami responds after a loss.

15.4 points per game is a ridiculous number, but it’s been the standard in these games following defeat.

That really shows their ability to adjust after a loss, and is definitely something to keep an eye on while watching Game 2.

Tonight will be interesting though, because a strong argument can be made that the main reason Miami dropped Game 1 was the absence of LeBron James down the stretch.

If that argument is true, perhaps there won’t need to be a makeover of adjustments like the Heat needed following the Game 1 loss to Indiana last month.

Whatever the case, this is once again a must win for the Heat.

That is not to say that Miami couldn’t come back from a 2-0 deficit, but it almost ensures that in order for the Larry O’Brian Trophy to stay in South Beach, the Heat would have to win in 7 games.

By capturing Game 2 tonight, the Heat knot the series up at 1-1, and head back to the friendly confines of AmericanAirlines Arena.

Nov 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Fans line up outside the American Airlines Arena before a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

AmericanAirlines has been especially friendly this postseason, to the tune of a perfect 8-0 record.

If that holds true once again, the Heat would potentially be up 3-1 when the series shifts back to San Antonio, and have three chances at the title.

One of those chances would occur inside American Airlines for Game 6, a place where this incredible stat comes into play:

Those are all hopes and dreams right now though.

The only way this can come to form, (unless Miami plans on winning four straight), is if victory occurs tonight at the AT&T Center.

Since the final horn sounded Thursday night, LeBron’s dealt with criticism from the anti-LeBron population, (who were thought to have been silenced after two straight titles), and in all honesty you can count on him being ready for the opportunity to silence those critics once again tonight.

In addition, the entire Heat roster has something to prove tonight as well.

Dwyane Wade said a few months ago that champions find a way to win on the road, and tonight is once again a turning point for THIS Heat team to show they are true champions.

Jun 5, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) dunks the ball during the first quarter against against the San Antonio Spurs in game one of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

They’ve done it before, and if they can do it one more time the dream of sports immortality becomes one step closer.

Everybody gets knocked down, but the great ones those that get back up and respond.

The hopes of a Dynasty and a Trey by the Bay hang in the balance tonight.

It’s time for the Heat to rise.

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Tags: American Airlines Arena Dwyane Wade Feature Lebron James Miami Heat NBA Finals San Antonio Spurs

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