MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat have a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals again, but they know when Oklahoma City takes the court at the AmericanAirlines Arena for Game 4; the one word that will describe the Thunder is desperation.
The Thunder are in desperation mode because they know that if they lose Game 4 to the Heat and fall behind 3-1, the chances of winning a championship become astronomically small. At the same time, the Heat will also be in desperation mode.
The Heat took a 2-1 lead in the 2011 NBA Finals only to watch the Dallas Mavericks hit the gas and win the next three games and the NBA championship. The Heat knows what it takes to get the final two wins on the way to a title and said they are ready for the fight.
“We can’t match their (Oklahoma City) desperation, they’re going to have to match ours,” Heat power forward Chris Bosh said. “We know what’s at stake.”
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and NBA MVP LeBron James echoed Bosh’s statements.
“You have to play hard. You have to be on edge,” Spoelstra said. “You have to be the desperate team and at the same time you have to play well.”
“We have the same desperation they have,” James said. “This is a must-win for us and that’s how we are approaching the game.”
The Thunder though is facing the longest of odds if they fall down 3-1 in the Finals. According to ESPN, teams in a 3-1 hole have come back to win the series just 8 out of 186 times, or roughly 4.3 percent.
Most NBA pundits have picked the Thunder to take Game 4 Tuesday night. The Heat knows that if they lose Game 4, it turns into a two out of three series. Plus, the same question about not being able to finish in the playoffs will spring up.
The Heat and the Thunder will tipoff Game 4 at 9 p.m. at the AmericanAirlines Arnea.