Once again the Heat have battled back against the Spurs and won a decisive victory. This time it was not the role players who stepped up, but rather the Big 3 who came through when the series was on the line. From the outset it was clear that this was a very different Heat team – they were aggressive, went to the basket and drew contact and fouls.
What can you say about DWade / Bosh and LeBron? They were the best players on the court and at every turn they proved it. When a little thing needed doing (a loose ball, a jump ball, a scramble or tip) they did it. Time and again they created turnover with their speed and athleticism, and they used those turnovers to their advantage to score points. When they went to the basket there was no fear or hesitation, and when they had a chance to score emphatically they definitely took it.
The best example: Chris Bosh throwing down a dunk when time had already expired. It was a rousing moment – foolish even due to the fact it was a close game Miami had to win – but for Bosh and the team it truly meant something. Miami had to have a spark and Bosh provided it. Confidence and better shot selection followed. Wade was on, Bosh was on and LBJ was simply unstoppable going to the hoop. Leonard suddenly looked more and more like an overmatched Paul George than the confident stopper he was in the previous contest. Defensively, Miami was a different team. They got out to the three point line and contested every single shot. They got steals, they got blocks and they made San Antonio work. Truly if the Spurs are going to live and die by the three ball, Miami is going to at least make them earn it. Each and every time.
Suddenly, this is starting to look like San Antonio vs. OKC a season ago. We forget that people were touting those Spurs as among the best teams in NBA history, or they were until OKC ran them off the floor in four straight games. Now the Spurs had Miami against the wall and the Heat have responded with an astounding display of unity.
The bottom line is this: when the Big Three play like this – James and Wade over thirty points each, Bosh with twenty – the Heat are unstoppable. They have the best basketball player in the world playing like, Wade and Bosh contributing and a ferocious defense. Remember this is not 2011, and the Heat have the confidence to know who they are as a team when their backs are against the wall.
No one, I repeat, no one, beats Stone Faced LeBron. Heat fans have to hope he continues to show up for the remainder of the series.