Best of three


Raffy Ledesma

LeBron “The King” James delivered a Game 4 victory as promised but he didn’t have to carry the Miami Heat on his own. Dwyane Wade, slowed down by injuries and age, was a no show in the first 3 games but was definitely a man on a mission in this one. Showing that he is still a force to be reckoned with, Wade also known as “The Flash,” led the Miami Heat to a 109-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Besides the 32 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, Wade also disrupted the Spurs’ offense with 6 steals and 1 blocked shot. His quick feet and hands helped result in an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers for the Spurs.

On offense, Wade was all over the place, relieving the defensive pressure from James as he put up his usual numbers (33 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists). His low assist numbers was an indication that James was in no mood to pass as he continually attacked the basket from the get-go. Chris Bosh, the 3rd member of Miami’s Big Three, took advantage of his looks and was a monster of the boards.

The Spurs, meanwhile, enjoyed a strong start from guard Tony Parker, who was considered day-to-day with a pulled hamstring. Parker, however, slowed down in the 2nd half as the Heat threw several defenders at him. For the nth time, Manu Ginobili was not a factor struggling to keep in the flow of the game, making some bad decisions and taking awkward shots. For the Spurs to have a chance versus the resurgent Heat, Ginobili needs to contribute.

With the series tied at 2-2, this is now a best of three. The Spurs are playing their final game of the playoffs at home. This is a must-win situation for them since losing Game 5 means having to win 2 straight games at Miami for the championship.

The key for them is how Parker can quickly recover or at least improve from his injury.

The team was very careful with his playing time in Game 4 and sat him when the Heat took a double-digit lead in the 4th quarter, even if they were still within striking distance.

Another factor would be coaching. It would be interesting to see the adjustments of Coach Gregg Popovich for Game 5. Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra pulled a fast one when he started Mike Miller at power forward. This forced the Spurs to play small and stretch their defenses all the way to the arc which meant more Miami penetrations.

This Miami-San Antonio series is becoming one of the more intriguing Finals match-ups in recent years. The main storyline being that this is a clash of the old guard and the new dynasty. A former champion versus the defending ones. Truly, a clash for the ages.


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