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Heat must accomplish something they haven’t been able to in a month if they want to repeat as champions

Jun 17, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT


SAN ANTONIO — After falling to the Spurs in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, the Miami Heat find themselves in a most uncomfortable position.

In order to win the championship that they were heavily favored to at the outset of the postseason, they’ll need to accomplish something that they haven’t been able to in almost a month, during a streak which has now reached 12 straight games.

Much was made heading into Game 5 of the fact that, for whatever reason, Miami has been unable to string together two straight victories since closing out the Bulls in the second round of the playoffs, and then taking the first game against the Pacers back on May 22.

A very confident LeBron James, you may recall, had declared that it was time for this little streak to come to an end.

“I think it’s time,” James said. “I think we’re well overdue where it’s time for us to win consecutive games. I think we’re at 11 or 12 straight consecutive win‑loss, win‑loss, win‑loss. I think it’s time. Enough is enough for our team. I’m not saying it’s going to result in us having a win, but we need to play with the same sense of urgency as if we were down 2‑1 or whatever the case may be [Sunday] night. And we can’t wait around.”

It didn’t happen, though, and clearly the Spurs had plenty to do with that. But Miami’s inability to impose their will and execute to the level the team is capable of in consecutive contests has to be a concern now that they trail three games to two, and the only way to the championship is to somehow find a way to get it done.

Playing on their home floor for two straight might help that cause.

“That’s the position we’re in,” LeBron James said following his team’s Game 5 loss. “The most important game is Game 6. We can’t worry about a Game 7. We have to worry about Game 6 and going back home, being confident about our game, being confident about getting a win, which we are. So it is what it is. We have a Game 6 on our home floor.”

Since the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format, there have been eight times where a team trailed 3-2 in the series with the next two games at home. But only three times — the Lakers in 1988, the Rockets in 1994, and most recently, the Lakers again in 2010 over the Celtics — has the team trailing been able to overcome that deficit.

Despite the challenge in front of his team, the numbers mean nothing to Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who calmly and succinctly summed up what the task ahead is all about.

“You can’t win a game with a statistic,” he said. “You’ve got to win it on the court.”

  1. cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    They’re not playing the Magic, Wizards, Cavs, depleted Bulls, under 500 Bucks, or Bobcats anymore.
    On a serious note Miami Dade police have posted a bandwagon alert. If you have seen or heard from hehateme, Pantsfree, Leaha, moveback, or heat256, please contact the Miami Dade police department as they have once again gone missing after a Heat loss. It’s an alarming trend that has continued this post season. Miami Dade police are investigating & would appreciate any tips to help their investigation.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM


      yeah…now is not the time to be M.I.A. when your team is in the Finals…but hey, Canton, Heat fans have been known to go missing for entire seasons! heck, just about every Florida sports team fan base does that! Zinga!

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        It takes a lot of courage & class to show up & talk after a loss. 1972 is the only one that does to his credit. However, when he speaks most of the time the class goes out the window

    • pl4tinum514 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      i hope the heat lose again so that Lebron can be 1-3 in finals appearances

      a far cry from jordan’s 6-0

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention the 2 biggest bandwagoners MiamiMatt & JimmyMarlinsfan, it’s because nobody cares that they are missing.

    • hehateme2 - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Some of us work moron…. don’t have time all day to snark. Your posts remain pathetic and weak…. no surprise here.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        I seem to get an overwhelming number of thumbs up. Not so weak. It must suck to not be liked on here as well.

      • redbaronx - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:04 PM

        You can call other fans morons, pathetic, and weak, but you’re just showing that’s the only way you can respond. God forbid you actually would know anything about basketball and engage in an actual discussion about tactics or why the Heat can’t beat the Spurs with all of that talent! That’s why real basketball fans root for the Spurs, and Heat fans can be counted on for name calling and comments that amount to “nah-nanny-boo-boo”.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      The 90/91 NBA champ Bulls went 15 – 2 in the playoffs that year and they weren’t playing the likes of the Magic, Wizards, Cavs etc… either…

      The 91/92 NBA champ Bulls went 15 – 7 (not so dominate)

      The 92/93 Bulls went 15 – 4

      The 95/96 Bulls went 15 – 3

      The 96/97 Bulls went 15 – 4

      The 97/98 Bulls went 15 – 6

      One other thing, in EVERY NBA Finals, they never went to a game 7… MJ and the gang always wrapped it up by game 6 at the latest…

      • melkipershero - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        Those Bulls teams came to play, period. The Heat show up one game and look unbeatable and show up the next night and look like another team. It all starts on defense.

  2. loungefly74 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    There’s no place like home….There’s no place like home…

    ah….the 2010 Finals…a classic! Interesting, just about every person at work is still sticking with the their original picks…this should be fun.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Not playing the Knicks either. And neither are the Spurs.

    But once again, there’s a PJ song that’s just perfect for the situation.

    All or None

    All or None

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      You think The Chokin’ One is going to “Save You”? Don’t you realize by now that he is a “Nothing Man”? Judging by his career stats in the Finals you’ll need to find a “Better Man” to help your team. All that time you spent cheering for the A-Rod of the NBA is just a “Life Wasted”. But don’t worry, you can just follow the bandwagoners after a loss & go “In Hiding”.
      My tribute to you & your aweful choice in music

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        Someone learned how to Google.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        ah…canton…PJ is awesome!

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        That’s all I get ’72? You should be honored I took the effort to do that tribute to you. It wasn’t easy, Pearl Jam is not exactly a most searched on Google.

      • explosionsauce - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        Cantonbound, you can poke fun at the Heat, Lebron, or even the Spurs for that matter but Pearl Jam is an awesome band. After 20+ years of being together, just respect the greatness even if you don’t like their music. I’m not a stones fan but can respect their greatness. One of the greatest bands ever and the greatest rock band since Led Zeppelin.

      • melkipershero - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        If Lebron is The Chokin One, whats that make Melo?

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        I never said Melo was great. He’s an all star, that’s it. He still could use a reliable scoring teammate. After all LeBron teamed up with 2 all stars & is struggling.

      • melkipershero - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Just wondering. Glad youre not one of those guys who sees it fit as it works for you.

        Lebron just doesnt have the MJ and Kobe mindset. I honestly think he doesnt want to hate Wades feelings so he plays too unselfish.

        Weve seen the two possible outcomes play out before. He either goes Game 6 Celtics and just takes over or goes Game 6 Mavs and just lets it happen. Im going to say the Heat win Game 6 ( I picked Spurs in 6) based on being at home and possible home cookin’. Remember the NBA has a TV deal in negations and Game 7 ratings would be insane.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      To the loser – “not for you”

      To the winner – “better man”

  4. kb2408 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    @1972, who the H is PJ?!
    Anyone notice my LAKERS have done it twice?!
    LeBron said it was time for them to win two in a row then proceeded to let D.Wade do the heavy lifting.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Pearl Jam bro

    • 2late2matter - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Think the Bulls and Pistons also ran Back-2-Backs. Back when a tough D counted the most!

  5. livingsacrifice86 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    They will probably win by 20 in game 6 then lose by 20 in game 7 and talk about how the effort just wasn’t there for the last game in the finals….lebron is an enigma to me, so sad

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Maybe someone slept with his mom?

      • chrldr12 - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        His dad?

  6. sportsnut101 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Manu game shocked us all I didn’t think spurs would win game 5

    Why is chalmers taking 10 shots Lets see who’s a better three point threat. Him or ray Allen if anything I woulda kept feeding Allen the ball give him 20 shots he was on fire

    Why was mike miller playing. He was o for 1 if u not gonna give him shots from 3 please get him off the court

  7. mogogo1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Series isn’t over. Heat are definitely capable of winning games 6 and 7 at home. But good time to take a look back a week or so to when every writer seemed ready to declare Miami one of the best of all time if they won this series. Where exactly was that all coming from? Indiana deserves respect, but do they strike anybody as being so good that one of the best teams of all time would need 7 games to eliminate them? (And I love how the Spurs play, but I’d say the same thing about them, as well.) I have no problem with the Heat as a team, but the coverage they get is simply bizarre. So little perspective and everybody wants to jump from calling them the greatest of all time, to total chokers from one game to another.

    • reesesteel23 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Agree with everything you said. As far as coverage, you know good n well a team that goes to the finals 3 years straight is going to get bizarre coverage no matter who is on the team…..That’s just a given.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        Funny thing is, I remember a fair amount of debate during the Bulls run about whether their lack of a big-time rival hurt their case in the “greatest of all time” discussion. And that was in the midst of winning 6 titles with two separate 3-peats. To read some of these writers, you’d think the Heat had 4 or 5 titles already. Everything seems to be on fast-forward with them and I really don’t get why. The Lakers won 2 straight in 2009-2010 and the Spurs won 3 in 5 years from 2003-2007 and I can’t recall anybody seriously proposing those teams were all-time greats.

    • jdk123 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      I knew by second quarter that Heat would lose Game 5. Bringing up the ball passively, Lebron holding it for too long looking for the perfect pass, Wade settling for jumpers. Also, a bunch of bad turnovers by Heat. On Spurs side, they came out sharp and Manu was aggressive. Parker pushing the ball hard, especially against Norris Cole. It became clear quickly that the Heat didn’t want to work hard to win this game – the Spurs did.

      This Heat team has been soooo inconsistent since the Indiana series. The Spurs really have been the better team this Finals. Almost certain there will be a game 7, but I’m not so sure the Heat will be the champions in the end.

  8. brookwell2013 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Well said mogogo……..I think part of what drives the coverage of the Heat as being a historically great team is the Lebron factor—- love him or hate him he is a beast and a great, great player. I think the media wants to write about a super team. You’re right mogogo, the Heat could very well pull this out but it sure seems to me to be a tall order for them to beat Parker, Duncan, Manu, Green, Pop et al twice in a few days. I think Spoelstra has been out coached…..not by a wide margin but I think Pop and his staff has gotten the better of the Heat coaches. This will be fun

    • gmsingh123 - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      LeBron is a great player–in the regular season. Good luck in those multiple finals you’re supposed to win, Lebron!

      • melkipershero - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        I would say he’s a good playoff player as well. He’s had his Finals struggles though. He’s 10th all time in playoff scoring so its not like he’s awful in the playoffs.

      • gmsingh123 - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:54 AM

        I suppose. Going all the way is the main thing.

  9. jrebar88 - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    They can win 27 straight when it doesnt matter, but cant get two in a row in the tough playoff series.

  10. losanginsight - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Hopefully win the Spurs finish off the he feat all the Queen talk about being able to guard every position,comparisons to Kobe and MJ, is put to an end. LBJ won’t have a ring this year or next year and will look for another super star to biggy back on in 2014. The genius coach spo should let the queen try to guard his own position,Danny Green SF,instead of trying to guard T Parker PG or Duncan PF/C.

  11. klownboy - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    I’m just pissed that the Heat are making me look bad for my “Heat in 6” prediction…

    • brookwell2013 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      You get a huge pass klownboy…….who amongst us would have ever thought that Green would go off and break the record for threes in the Finals? I knew he was on the Spurs roster and I had heard he was improving greatly and was a quiet, coachable kid but this kid has been huge…….I don’t think anyone out there (fans or media) saw that coming……..I hereby declare that klownboy gets a pass on his Heat in 6 prediction. We’ll all sit back with a cold one and some friends and watch Game 6, eh?

  12. reedme16 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    The same people talking about Heat fans are the same people that disappear after Heat wins. Bad part about it is that your not even Spurs fans. That means that your team wasn’t even good enough to make it this far. So your biggest accomplishment as a fan will be rooting for the Heat to lose. Congrats on that.

    On another note I’m disgusted with the Heat and Lebron today. Their defensive effort was terrible and their offensive aggression and execution was worst. The Spurs shooting seems to suck all of the fight out of Mia. The effort that they put up in the 4th just further upset me. You need to be down by 20 to wake up! And Lebron is way too passive. He talks a lot nut overthinks in the game. Wade was the only player being aggressive, and he missed soooo many layups.

    But regardless of what the haters and media will say we are in good shape. Spurs had to win that game and they knew it. I just wish Mia would have put up more of a fight. And the stat about not winning back to back games is overblown. In that same time period the Heat have only played at home once after winning and that was game 2 of the Pacers series. After the Heat win tomorrow Game 7 will be only the second time they get to play at home after a win. Spurs will not shoot like that in Mia and won’t have their crowd to energize them. We are good Heat fans, regardless of what it may seem like. Heat role players play their best at home and since Lebron is like the Superman of role players I expect a huge game.

    • truk39 - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      ” In that same time period the Heat have only played at home once after winning and that was game 2 of the Pacers series.”

      There is one other home game after a win you are forgetting:

      Game 1 of the Finals was in Miami.

    • thedocsite - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      Where does it states in the rules, that you have to be a fan of either team in other to appreciate the games, players or a better team?

  13. melkipershero - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    To me the biggest difference in the Heat and Spurs is the Spurs core has been together for a long time. They basically grew together. Its crazy they have never won back to back championships though. If i remember correctly the Spurs always seemed to have an ill timed injury to derail their playoff runs in their other years. I think the Heat only winning 1 title (and the Big 3 Celetics) would be good for the NBA. Maybe guys would think twice before teaming up (probably not).

    Spo has been out coached and the Heat have been out played. Does anyone understand why Chris Anderson hasnt been playing?

    One of the reasons people hate the Heat is because theyve been crowned the best team ever, but you hardly hear that talk for the 4 time (one win away from 5) Spurs. Wheres the Spurs respect?

  14. thechock305 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Hi haters. All these LOSER ass haters are soo sad. Is your team still playing? Oh yeah that would be a big fat NO. So please get back to your sad, boring, trolling, miserable, LeBron ENVIOUS, nothing to do better with your time lives. No one really cares what you think Canton and everyone else who sits around worried about some other fan base that is not your own. Please worry about your sorry team. We’ll just continue to be relevant and go to the FINALS for 3 straight years. And trust me, this thing is not over. Bye haters.

    • rtfinch - Jun 18, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      I see you thought this out thoroughly yet somehow said nothing of relevance to the article…. sounds about right.

  15. deiong - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    “Heat must accomplish something they haven’t been able to in a month if they want to repeat as champions”

    what’s that call in daddy stern to “give” them another trophy?

    • melkipershero - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      The Heat beat the Thunder 4-1. Not exactly giving anything.

      • deiong - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:39 PM

        heavy favoritism from the refs and stern, counts as given. specially when Boston beat the heat. but the refs gave the heat that last game. it was disgusting how obvious it was. that and wade should have been suspended yet the for a hard dirty fould same foul the grizley guy game but his was less hard then what wade gave, he was suspended wade wasn’t. they definitely didn’t earn it. so erigo yea it was much given.

  16. Phil - Jun 18, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    As a Maverick fan, I can be fairly objective about this series since both teams are not exactly loved in Dallas. This series is showing how much better a coach Greg Popovich is than Eric Spoelstra. Spoelstra doesn’t know what to do with Danny Green without letting Duncan or Parker run free. Popovich is one step ahead of him. Reminds me of the 2011 finals when Rick Carlisle of the Mavericks outcoached Spoelstra as well. If the Heat lose this series, watch for Doc Rivers to be the new coach of the Miami Heat.

  17. dezglobal - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    The coolest thing about Miami losing in this finals would not be LBJ losing… But that T-Mac would get a ring after never making it past the 1st round in his amazing career.

  18. denverdude7 - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Good grief, they’re STILL playing basketball? The NBA needs to drop the regular season schedule down to about 60 games or so and get off SportsCenter much earlier than this.

    How about it Mr. Stern? Help out us NFL fans and get out of the way already !!!!!!!

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