Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat’s loss in Game 4 left the team angry, but the numbers give the team and Heat fans plenty to be optimistic about.
Out of the 101 teams to lose the first three games in a best-of-seven series in the NBA playoffs, none won the series and only 10 managed to avoid elimination twice. The Heat have dominated the series until Game 4 when everything fell apart.
The Heat missed 11 free throws, the majority coming from Dwyane Wade, missed 16 three-pointers, blew two double-digit leads and gave up a 19-2 run in the third quarter. Then at the end of regulation, Wade threw up an off balance shot while LeBron was simply an observer.
Still, the Heat feel like Game 4 was a fluke and that things will be quite different heading into Game 5 att her AmericanAirlines Arena.
“You carry it with you 24 hours, you go over what needs to be done, you correct it and you get rid of it,” Heat forward LeBron James said. “That’s not saying that you don’t care about it but you’ve got to move on to the next game. You can’t let it linger too much and carry that game into Game 5. So Game 4 for us is over. We’re preparing for Game 5 now.”
The Knicks are hoping to break the historical streak of teams going down 0-3 after finally ending their more than decade long streak without a playoff victory. But the Knicks will be trying to do it without several key pieces.
The team lost guard Iman Shumpert in Game 1 to a torn ACL. Then in Game 4, Baron Davis may have ended his career when he tore the patellar tendon, dislocated his kneecap, and tore two ligaments in his knee.
That leaves the Knicks with little point guard depth and puts Heat point guard Mario Chalmers in a familiar position.
The Knicks will likely start Mike Bibby at the point. Last year, Bibby was starting for the Heat until Chalmers pushed him out of the starting lineup in the NBA Finals. Chalmers took over the job and the Heat didn’t attempt to re-sign Bibby.
Now, Chalmers has the ability once again to send Bibby home for the summer if he can help get the Heat a victory at home.
Still, all the injuries make the Knicks unpredictable because Knicks head coach Mike Woodson will use some unconventional lineups at different times in the game.
“They’ll bring something different so we’ve got to be prepared, in a sense like it’s a regular-season game,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “It’ll be a little tougher. Five games in, everyone pretty much knows each other’s offensive package a little bit. You can throw a couple wrinkles in but you kind of get to the point now where you start to know what guys are going to do.”
The Heat and Knicks will tipoff Game 5 of the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday.
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