By Craig Fields
So that’s the way the cookie crumbled.
Dwyane Wade played like the “Flash” of ‘06. LeBron James played like the “Superman” of the current NBA. Chris Bosh was the, well he has yet to be a part of the Justice League but I’ll just call him “Aquaman” because his jumper was fluid like water.
Wade had his best game of this year’s Finals with a line of 32 points, 6 steals, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The most impressive stat of that line is the six steals in my opinion. Those six steals led to 6-8 points for the Heat swingman, and allowed those Heat Energizer Bunnies to get out into the open court and do what they do best.
LeBron James had a heck of a stat line in his own right. It is not often that a man can lead a game in scoring and not be the headliner of the next day’s articles. But that was the case as LeBron’s 33 points, 11 boards, and 4 assists played backseat to Wade’s numbers. He appeared to be the LeBron that the league, and the Heat team has become accustomed to seeing. He was aggressive from the very beginning — which was evident by him picking up fouls early in the first quarter after not drawing a single one in game three.
And bringing up the rear of the Big Three is Chris Bosh. With an overall effort of 20 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, he had his best performance of these Finals. He also provided the energy play that made the Spurs faithful groan collectively and begin the process of filing out of the arena. With the Heat holding a 15 point lead, Bosh stole an inbound pass from Duncan, dove for the loose ball and called a timeout at the 3:55 mark of the fourth quarter. Effort like that embodies and epitomizes the heart of and what it takes to be a champion.
Sticking with my original prediction of Heat in seven, the current pattern of wins does not foretell that same conclusion. For the Heat to win in seven, LeBron, Wade and Bosh will have to continue to be the most feared Big Three in the game. Now I’m not saying that they will have to combine for 85 points and 30 rebounds a night — but ball parking those above totals nightly definitely would not hurt.
The turnover discrepancy (18-9 in favor of the Heat) did not hurt as well. The Heat scored 20 points on 18 turnovers. In my opinion, the turnover battle is the most important one for the Heat. It is imperative for them to win that battle if they wish to win this series. The Heat like to get out into the open court and convert on fast break opportunities. The main way they get these chances are from turnovers. It is not often that they will out-rebound a team like they did in Game 4.
Tim Duncan had another productive night going 6-10 from the field, notching 20 points and grabbing 5 boards in the process. Tony Parker also had a pretty good night knocking down 7-16 shots for a total of 15 points and dropping 9 dimes to fellow teammates.
I think I saw Manu Ginobili’s game hanging out with the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot because it has been non-existent so far in this series. Five points on five shot attempts is not going to cut it. Period. It just will not get it done. Game 4 was arguably the most ineffective he has been in this series. What is good for the goose (LeBron) is also good for the gander (Ginobili). James knew he had to give a better effort and came with it in Game 4. If Ginobili continues playing like the invisible man, then the Spurs just might fall to the Heat.