OK, in basketball, any decent team can get blown out at times, but twice in a row--especially when the second could have determined the outcome of the series--really sucks.
Winning the series would have cemented the place of the Heat in the pantheon of great teams, and losing the fourh means the Heat have to win the next three--with two games in San Antonio.
Maybe, they'll even leave the air conditioning on this time for those two.
No NBA team has ever come back from down 3 to 1 in the Finals.
Yes, the Heat have the best player in the universe this side of God His Ownself and 2 All Stars beside for the triumvarite of smugness, but up and down the bench the Spurs have more players, pieces you can plug in for plays and points.
The Spur have Tiago Splitter and Matt Bonner, big men w ith consumate ball skills The Heat have the shell of Greg Oden's career, no better than lint at his stage. You can't use his name in a sentence without also using the phrase "oft-injured." The do have Chris "Birdman" Anderson and Udonis Haslem, both rugged rebounders who would definitely slap yo' momma for the ball and who also show flashes of offensive flair but they ain't enough, unless you could clone them.
Please don't let Heat coach Eric Spoelstra know that, however, as he's kept Udonis buried on the bench. As a jealous Orlando Magic fan, I hope they keep running Chris Bosh on the court; open the dictionary and you see his picture under softer (you'll see Roy Hibbert under softest). And jeez, Rashard Lewis might shoot the three balll, but he ain't gonna provide you tough rebounds over a three game span.
Hell, you might need the actual damn dictionary to teach him what the word "defense" means. Screw him. He hurt me bad playing for the Magic in the playoffs against the Celtics, or rather playing the part of a statue while Kevin Garnett rebounde over him at will. I lost my rent money betting that series. If he gets a ring, I'll kill myself. SOB!
Yet, I digress.
The Heat play trapping defense, and as long as teams pass the ball, keep it moving, and not over dribble nor try to win 1 on1, the Heat become vulnerable to a better team with more athletes.
Until last night, no one thought that possible.
[So here the Heat were in the midst of getting run off their court for a second time in three nights Thursday, losing Game 4 of the Finals 107-86 to the San Antonio Spurs. Pushed to the brink of elimination, something unprecedented and profound surfaced for the Heat.
It wasn't just that they'd lost back-to-back games for the first time in the past eight playoff series. Or that they'd fallen behind two games or lost two consecutive home playoff games. These were just factoids.
As the Spurs whipped the ball through Miami's defense and executed a beautiful strategy with a mix of expertise and grace, the Heat seemed to have a collective and halting revelation: They were playing a better team. (Emphasis added)
AP Photo/Lynne SladkyLeBron James scored a team-high 28 points, but his teammates couldn't provide enough support to challenge the Spurs in a Game 4 rout.]