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Dwyane Wade admits it: Game 2 is must win for Miami

Jun 8, 2013, 2:24 PM EST

BKN-NBA-FINALS-SPURS-HEAT-PRACTICE Getty Images

MIAMI — Everyone else danced around the question. Game 2 is important because all NBA Finals games are important, most Heat players said. Which is true. But some games are more important than others.

Just think if if Miami drops its first two games at home…

“We’re not a team that really says too much, ‘this is a must win game.’ But this is a must win game,” Dwyane Wade admitted. “For us we have to win this game at home. We have to come out and play a lot better and we also expect San Antonio to play a lot better, shoot a lot better, a little better from what they did in Game 1.”

Miami has not dropped back-to-back games since mid-January, and to a man the Spurs expected a much more aggressive Heat team that tries to use its athleticism, its speed to try and force the issue more than they did in Game 1. The Spurs packed the paint and the Heat took the bait and kicked out shots from the paint to more open ones outside (which they missed). Don’t expect that to be the case Sunday night.

But why is it the Heat seemed to need to be punched in the gut to pick up their intensity?

“Our effort is usually better after a loss,” Shane Battier said of his Heat. “I think we listen better, our eyes are open a little more, our ears are open a little more.

“Every loss we’ve had, we haven’t expected to go out and play better, we make it happen, and that’s the biggest thing about this team.”

With the Heat having hung a banner last year and having lost the first game in more than one series, there was plenty of confidence from them.

“We’ve been pretty confident all year, regardless of the circumstances,” Ray Allen said. “We’ve been in pretty — based on basketball standards — dire situations where we had to come out and win. We taught ourselves different lessons throughout the year.”

Allen and the other Heat players wouldn’t go where Wade did, they said that all finals games are important.

But to paraphrase (and bastardize) George Orwell: All Finals games are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

  1. sportsfan18 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Go Spurs…!

  2. deadeyedesign23 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Winning the second game of a sven game series is not a must win. Ask the Spurs.

    • wammygiveaway - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Actually, it is. The Spurs are invincible because they play for the good of basketball (fundamentals, team first, supporting cast, no distractions, indifferent to media, no attention hogging, “Just win, baby”), while the Heat represent everything that is evil about basketball and the NBA (opposite of the Spur’s good qualities). Remember that the Spurs are perfect in Finals appearances regardless of one game’s outcome.

      In fact, I even tweeted to a radio show on the day the Spurs defied the NBA and national media by proposing this conspiracy: “Spurs win the first three games. Then they give the Heat three free games by resting their players (Popoviching a game). Then on Game 7, where nobody has ever come out of a 0-3 hole in the Finals or playoffs, Spurs DESTROY the Heat. Popovich has a military background, and he will use psychological warfare to defeat teams who think are invincible.”

      To go up against the Spurs is like going up against every single team in the NBA. Including the 1920 Original Celtics, the fathers of basketball who designed the very sport in the first place. Heat have no chance, they’re doomed.

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        Honestly, if you don’t think the Heat play as a team and share the ball I’m not sure who you are watching.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        If you’re the same, arrogant whammy who invited everyone to the Penguins Stanley Cup parade, I think you are lying.

    • herkulease - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      While its not an absolutely must win. They’ll be down 2 games to none and will need to win 2 of 3 in San Antonio who are 6-1 at home the playoffs.

      IMO that if they fall to 0-2, they’ll need to win games 3 and 4. 3-0 or 3-1 lead for spurs and the Heat’s chances greatly diminish. The spurs smell blood and will go for the kill. They are 6-1 in games where they have the chance to close out for the last 5 years.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        Literally a year ago the Spurs went up 2-0 on the Thunder and then lost 4 in a row. It’s not a must win. Leave that kind of bombastic editorializing for Skip Baylis.

    • scmems07 - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      that was last year…..this is 2013 and not 2012 right? last time i checked anyway. and miami does not have 3 of the best and most explosive players in the nba in durant,westbrook and harden. they have the best player in lebron “my team is not washed up and ill prove it by passing all the time” james, chris “im a better 3 pt shooter than ray allen” bosh and dwayne “i seem to be always hurt but SA is the old run down team” wade….

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:59 AM

        You’re arguing which team is better and not whether ot not must is an absolute term. When you wanna have the same conversation I’m having let me know.

    • redbaronx - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      Ask the Spurs about what? We’re not talking about going down 0-2 in a conference series. This is the Finals. Miami needed to win game two if they were to have a realistic chance of winning this series. They knew it, and played like it. 1-1.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        Jesus. Ok so say they lose the next game…they’re going into game 4 down 3-1. Now suppose they lost this game and won the next one…they’re going into game 4 down 3-1. It’s not a must win until a team actually MUST win in order to keep playing. Like I said else where if we’re saying the second game in a 7 game series is a must win then we’re saying every game is a must win.

        Also I would make the argument that last years Thunder team was better than this years Spurs team so the fact that it happened last yea rin the conference finals is irrelevant. What is relevant is that you can go down 0-2 in a series, losing the second game which is apparently a must win, and still win the series.

  3. goldmember21 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Miami in 6

    • gmsingh123 - Jun 9, 2013 at 7:10 AM

      I agree–Miami will win another championship in 6 years.

  4. ajw21 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    deadeye: I don’t think you can compare this year & last year vs Thunder. Last yr the Spurs won 2 in a row at home, not away and I think Parker is better then last year with a bigger defender on him. I am a Spurs fan but I don’t see them losing 2 out of 3 at home. If Heat win then its probably going 7 in my opinion. Spurs win & they win in 5.
    Go Spurs!

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      The point being that if they lost tomorrow and then win the next 4 it wasn’t a must win. Was winning game 1 a must win? I mean if we’re saying the second game in a series is a must win then really we’re saying they’re all must wins. The reality is that it’s not a must win until you’re down 3 games, but that doesn’t make for page views.

      • redbaronx - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        @deadeyedesign23 – I think you just don’t get it. Losing the first two games AT HOME in the Finals is virtually insurmountable. I can’t remember the last time a team lost the first two games AT HOME in the Finals, and went on to win the Finals.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:37 AM

        No I get it. Virtually insurmountable is not insurmountable. That’s what you don’t get.

        Like i said higher up the winner of game 3 in a 1-1 series wins the whole thing 93% of the time. That makes it a must win for both teams by your definition. They probably shouldn’t even play game 4 since game 3 is a must win right?

  5. doublebro - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    If the Heat lose game 2 that will be their last game in Miami this season.

  6. funktron2x - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    It doesn’t matter if it was one year ago or 20 that the Thunder did that. Fact is, the odds of winning 4 straight after falling 0-2 are incredibly long and that it happened recently means nothing. The odds aren’t going to change and become easier because of some unrelated series from a year ago.

    • nbascreed - Jun 8, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      Kind Sir, thou dost straw-manneth nicely!

      He said absolutely nothing about odds, he simply said it wasn’t a must win and it isn’t. The fact that OKC came back to win does buttress that point quite nicely.

      ktgotgame.com

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      By even admitting that it had odds you’re saying it’s not a must win. What if the Spurs win tomorrow and then the Heat win the next 4? Was it a must win then?

      • hickoryhigh - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:20 PM

        You clearly do not understand statistics.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 8, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        Lol “must” is an absolute. If they can lose the game and still win the series it wasn’t a must win.

      • redbaronx - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        @deadeyedesign23 – Try looking up the stats of how many teams have gone down AT HOME in the first two games of the FINALS, and went on to win. Let me know if you come up with any champions…..Stop with the stupid hypotheticals. Even Wade said game two was a MUST WIN. He’s not stupid. Winning 4 in a row after being down two is rough on any team, let alone having to win the next three on the road plus 1 of 2 at home to wrap it.

        If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. It’s that simple.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:35 AM

        Hey you know the winner of game 3 in a sereis thats ties 1-1 goes on to win the series 93% of the time! Guess that’s a must win too!

        If you don’t understand absolute qualifiers just say so.

  7. adamgmzshinerbock100 - Jun 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    I`m getting tried of how the Heat have lost the 1st game only to come back and win the series. The difference is that those another teams aren`t 4 time NBA Champions. The Spurs will not panic and stick to what they do best. Pop is a master of adjusting to anything on the floor…so the game might be more physical just remember the Spurs have been there before. The Spurs in 6.

  8. Jeff - Jun 8, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Go Spurs!

  9. ghelton03 - Jun 8, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Are you kiddin’ me? Two days off between games 1 & 2? NBA has no consideration for the fans. Will be so happy to see Stern go.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      All about ratings. Saturday is a dead night and Sunday is prime time. So you are right, they don’t give a hoot about the people who make them money.

  10. electstat - Jun 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    “We’re not a team that really says too much…”

    Except when you miss a shot, then you say a lot to the refs.

    • pistolpete0903 - Jun 9, 2013 at 2:59 AM

      Bingo

    • gmsingh123 - Jun 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      He just happened to “say something” when he complained of fatigue in Game 1. Fatigue from what? Being disappointing?

  11. ghelton03 - Jun 8, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Watched NBA finals on Thu. No games on Fri. okay. Now Sat and still no game? WTF! Game 2 and NBA already making me lose interest. Probably won’t tune in tomorrow. Will sit this one out until it gets interesting. No surprise NBA is red-haired step child of sports.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      You don’t understand TV do you?

  12. barbeaux - Jun 8, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Shouldn’t every game be a must win?…some sort of carpe dime thing?

  13. pistolpete0903 - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    SA shouldn’t drag this now that they have home court.
    The longer the series goes, it is advantage Miami and its youth.
    SA should go for the kill in Game 2.

    • redbaronx - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      SA gave it their best shot and it was OK for three quarters in game two. Will be hard for the Spurs to win all three at home, but not impossible. As usual, game 5 is IT.

      • pistolpete0903 - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:34 AM

        Win 2 at home and pressure is on Heat to win 2 straight in Miami.
        Still see advantage Miami due to their youth, Duncan and Ginobili would be running on tired legs come Game 6.

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