If ever there was a team that could rally from a 3-1 deficit to win a championship, two teams come to mind: the Chicago Bulls of the 90s and the current Miami Heat. But the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen Bulls were never down 3-1 in a final series. In the history of NBA finals, 31 teams have been down 3-1 and none of these has ever rallied to win the most prestigious award in the game.
Though much can be said for the Spurs being a team that understands what selflessness and playing fundamental basketball means; however, the Miami Heat brought itself to this current hole. Fighting over the deficit to win the championship means making history. And truth be told, LeBron James is a fearless warrior that is capable of rallying his troops. But this is such an uphill task.
Let’s look at the facts. The Miami Heat are without a point guard. And no; LeBron isn’t the team’s point guard even though he has played that position all season long, amassing 6.3 assists per game, while Mario Chalmers, the team’s designated point guard, averaged 4.9 assists all season long. Never mind that Dwyane Wade also had 4.7 assists throughout the season. It is noteworthy that the blame on the Heat’s lackluster performance in the 2014 finals has rested largely on Mario Chalmers and Coach Erik Spoelstra. But can Chalmers really take the blame for not living up to his responsibilities? All season long, he was largely relegated to a two guard while LeBron commandeered the offense. The opposite is what happens in San Antonio.
Spurs floor general, Tony Parker, orchestrates the flow of the team’s offense getting everyone involved in the distribution of the ball. This style of play is what earned the Spurs the highest number of assist by any team the entire regular season. It is the formula that got it three wins in the four games played so far in this finals series.
Prior to the start of game one, I predicted the Spurs would win the series at 4-1. The Spurs have won by an average of 18.3 points in their three victories over the Heat, steadily increasing the margin through each game (Game one: 15 points; Game three: 19 points; Game four: 21 points). Actually, I believed the Spurs could sweep the Heat, but it would be utterly embarrassing if the Miami Heat didn’t fight to win at least one game as the defending champions. Note that the Heat’s only win in Game 2 came by only 2 points. Winning two games for the Heat would mean the saving grace of a Messiah-like performance by Ray Allen in game 6 of the 2013 finals, but…lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place. Will the Heat climb back to win game 5 tonight at the AT&T Centre in San Antonio? History can always be re-written.