Dwyane Wade has not looked like Dwyane Wade recently. This postseason, Wade has scored 20 points in only two games this postseason. This is not the Dwyane Wade who was the Finals MVP in 2006 and the Heat's saving grace during the failed 2011 Finals bid.
Wade though still had something left in the tank. He had to after the way San Antonio thoroughly ignored him and shut down him and his team in Game Three, seemingly taking a vice grip on this series.
That is, unless Wade did something drastic. Like find the Fountain of Youth and put in a turn-the-clock-back performance that would shut up his naysayers for at least two days before Game Five.
Wade was knifing through the lane and playing confidently, aggressively attacking the basket and playing like Wade typically does when he is at his best in scoring 32 points in Miami's 109-93 Game Four victory at AT&T Center on Thursday. When this happens, Miami is simply difficult to beat, particularly when LeBron James joins him in the aggression.
San Antonio could not ignore Wade as the team did on its first possession when it match Miami's small lineup by putting Tiago Splitter on Wade. Wade did not seem to take kindly to the thought of the Spurs' decision. He attacked Splitter on the very first possession and forced Popovich to go small with Gary Neal.
From there, the game might as well have been over. Miami was already imposing its will from that first possession forcing San Antonio to go small. Wade's willingness to attack the basket changed the game for the Heat, who had been missing that.
First though, Miami had to solve the 3-point shooting which had plagued the team throughout this series. Danny Green and Gary Neal continued to hit 3-pointers, combining to shoot 6 for 10 from beyond the arc. San Antonio got 20 points from Tim Duncan to lead the team, but 19 turnovers leading to 23 Miami points made life extremely difficult for San Antonio.
The Heat were looking to run and did so. They were looking to attack and they did.
The fire was certainly in their eyes to get the series evened up after the embarrassment from Game Three. LeBron James, certainly did, posting up more and gaining confidence early on. He scored 33 points for his first 20-point game of the series and he and Wade each scored 30 points for the first time since Feb. 26 against Sacramento.
The Heat offense worked perfectly as the small lineup kept the paint clear and enabled the Heat to attack with the cutting and fast breaking that is typical of a Heat offense. Miami played free and easy and naturally like it did in the Game Two win.
There are not nearly the same questions as after Game Two. San Antonio was competitive and strong offensively. But 3-point shooting is not a consistent way to win. Not when you are turning the ball over or struggling to keep a team from shooting better than 50 percent from the floor. That is no way to win in the Finals.
Adjustments will be made. Now it is a three-game series.
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