4 games in, one pretty dominating team. How did it happen? What were the factors? Are the Heat still capable of coming back? I’ll answer the last question later in this article. Right now, let’s take a look at 3 factors that have developed over this series so far.
Heat’s trapping defense
The Miami Heat have always looked to double and trap the ball handler forcing turnovers which can contribute to fast break opportunities. I believe it’s a defensive scheme that requires all five player to be defending together as a whole. One mistake and someone will be open.
This season, the Heat has gotten poorer defensively. While they were in the top 7 in defensive efficiency in the past 3 season, they are only 11th this season and only 3 teams in the past 36 years have managed to win while being outside the top 10 in defensive efficiency. Against an offensive juggernaut like the Spurs, you can’t really slip up too much or they will make you pay dearly as we’ve seen.
- Where are Miami point guards
Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole have each shot under 35.5% and less than 17% from beyond the arc. They are both averaging 3.5ppg. These are stats that have really hurt the Heat and because the Spurs are playing so well, it’s not much of a contest.
- Coach Pop changes, Coach Spo?
In Game 3, Coach Pop inserted Diaw into the starting lineup for Splitter. It turn out to be a great move as Diaw’s passing and versatility allowed the Spurs’ offense to move the ball better and take advantage of the Heat’s defense. Pop has never been afraid to make changes to his starting lineup or giving someone more minutes, but Coach Spo has always trusted his same group of guys. Sure Miami has a bench that is always ready to step up and from series to series Miami’s starting lineups would change, but his doesn’t really shake his lineup up during a series.
I feel that maybe he has to look at making a change because the offense or defense has work to be done. I am not saying I know where, but maybe he needs to look at the guys he has and decide if someone could come in and provide something extra.
Can the Heat comeback?
No team has come back from 3-1 down to win in the Finals before, so history is against them. But I remember reading in an article that Game 5 is a must win for the home team. Let’s say Heat win Game 5, brings it back to 3-2. They will feel confident and home advantage just might show in Game 6, if it does and the Heat take advantage of it and win, it will bring this series to 3-3. Then it’s just one game to decide the champions.
Sure it’s a long shot, but Game 5 is important for both teams. The Spurs will want to close it out on their home floor and not wait till Game 7, the Heat are fighting to stay alive. I feel that the Heat will take Game 5, but the series is still going to the Spurs. Unless the Heat suddenly find a major adjustment in Game 5, if not it’s still going to the Silver & Black.