A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Thought on Heat Pacers Game 4: Wade punches the Pacers in the face, Lebron has a potential moment

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Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Miami Heat...

Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade after their win against the Washington Wizards during an NBA basketball game in Washington, on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. The Heat won 95-94. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First off, I want to give credit to Lebron James for that game. It is slightly disrespectful to talk about him 2nd most when he drops a 40 pts, 18 rebound, 9 assist game. Without Lebron the Heat neither would’ve been close at halftime nor would they have put on such a show in the second half. If the Heat win a title this game will go down as an important one for him.

However I can’t help but feel that game belonged to Dwyane Wade. Good players produce in the playoffs, but great players change games. Dwyane Wade completley changed Game 4 and arguably the series. When the Pacers led 61-51 with 8:29 left in the 3rd, they really were in control of the game and play. They had seen a strong game from Lebron in the 1st half but were content to simply outproduce him as a team versus one man. As soon as Wade tapped into his 2006 and 2011 Finals form from that point forward, the game belonged to the Heat. They had the superior energy level and confidence on both ends, with Lebron and the Heat’s defense riding the momentum wave to their best half of the playoffs.

Ultimately this is the reason why we value big performances and winners in the playoffs. The players who come up winners in the postseason are most often the ones who have moments like this. With the Heat looking nearly dead on the scoreboard and in energy level, Dwyane Wade changed his team’s fate – and in the NBA playoffs one half can make all the difference. This is something stats can’t quite capture. Wade could’ve had an identical 13-23 30 pt, 9 rebound, 6 assist game but in a drastically different way – say with 10 pts in the 1st, 10 in the 2nd, 5 in the 3rd, and 5 in the 4th and it may have led to a game the Pacers controlled confidently, then closed out in the 2nd half. But what he did in this game truly dropped an anvil on the Pacers’ head – which may be the most effective way to steal control of a series on the road. The scariest part about the Heat in their 2 seasons has always been their ability to put together 8 to 12 pt runs at any time, due to their speed off strong defensive plays. If they go onto compete for a title I believe it will be have to be in a fashion similar to this. Games that look ugly and close for some time, then broken open by unstoppable runs by its two stars. This game was a good start.

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Written by jr.

May 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

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