MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – When it comes to the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat have been able to rely on two members of the Big Three. And while LeBron James continues to struggle scoring points, Chris Bosh has played well in the Finals.
In the Game 4 loss to the Mavericks, Bosh did everything he could to keep the Heat in the game. He finished the game with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 blocked shot.
Overall in the series, Bosh is averaging 18.3 points and 6 rebounds per game. His game has helped boost the Heat, along with that of Dwyane Wade.
D-Wade is averaging 29.8 points, 8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. He’s scored at least 29 points in each of the last three games in the NBA Finals. His game is the sole reason the Heat haven’t been swept out of the Finals and are instead tied with the Mavs at 2 games apiece.
The missing ingredient for the Heat has been forward LeBron James. The crowned jewel of the Big Three coming together last year has largely been missing in action on the offensive end of the floor.
James has scored fewer points in each game of the series, culminating in Tuesday night’s Game 4 loss that saw him score just 8 points. For the series, James is averaging 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.3 rebounds in the NBA Finals.
James has played well on the defensive end of the floor, but if the Heat are to bring a second championship to Miami; he’s got to step his game up offensively.
“I’ve got to do a better job of being more assertive offensively,” said James, who contributed nine rebounds and seven assists. “I’m confident in my ability. It’s just about going out there and knocking them down.”
For Wade and James, they’ve got to convert their free throws, especially in the fourth quarter. Wade clanked a free throw with 30 seconds to go that would have kept the Heat from having to shoot a 3-pointer at the end.
Wade also fumbled an inbounds pass with 6.7 seconds left and forced Mike Miller to take a falling-away 3-pointer that came nowhere near the rim.
The Heat players have said this team would go as far as the Big Three could carry them. For the Heat to win, they need to protect the ball better, and get LeBron involved offensively while staying in the confines of their offense.
LeBron has played a great series defensively and passing the ball. But the Heat need him to score to put this series away.
Some have said you don’t want to poke the bear, meaning talking smack to a player like LeBron. After Game 4, the bear has been smacked in the face, and now everyone has to wait and see how the bear reacts.