By Dennis Berry
It might not be the biggest win in the history of the Miami Heat, but it should rank up there. Facing the prospect of going in the hole 3-1 against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would not let it happen.
In case you have not notice, it has been a rough week for the Miami Heat. They lost Chris Bosh to an injury in game one. Then they lost game two in a most unusual style. While Wade and James scored a combined 52 points, no one other Miami player scored more than five points, and Miami lost.
Then they lost game three at Indiana. This time it was Wade that made the headlines. Wade went 2-13 from the field and scored only five points. Most of the attention was focused on the sideline confrontation between Wade and Head Coach Erik Spoelstra.
What followed was a game of people trying to predict the future of the Miami Heat. If you were on twitter Thursday night, you followed it in real time. There were fans calling for Spoelstra to be fired. There was another group that wanted to break up the “Big Three” and get rid of either of James, Wade, or Bosh.
Luckily for the Heat they did not pay attention.
You see they have been dealing with the same questions since James and Bosh arrived in Miami. Can Wade and James play on the same team? Can Spoelstra coach this team to an NBA title? Before his injury in game one of this series, even Bosh’s role was questioned.
The question of if Wade and James can play together has been the most glaring. Since James signed as a free agent in Miami in 2010 it has been there. Before they were put together both players were dominate on their own. James led Cleveland to the NBA Finals in 2007. Wade led Miami to the NBA title in 2006.
Even after making the NBA Finals in their first year together, the question still remained.
Then Wade and James play a game like they did in game four against Indiana and you see why the so much was expected. This is the performance that most people expected when the Heat formed their Big 3. The only thing missing was Bosh.
Wade and James stepped up with perhaps their best game as a Heat duo. James had 40 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists. Wade scored 30 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. They lead the Heat to series tying win in game four.
They put the Heat on their backs in the second half and lead them to a win. Just how dominate were the pair in the second half?
James and Wade outscored the Pacers in the second half combining for a total of 43 points to the Pacers 39. They key stretch came in the third quarter when the duo scored a total of 28 points in the third quarter and outscored the Pacers 28-16.
It was the game that showed you just how dominate the duo can be. Just maybe this is the game that they can build on. Maybe this is the game that we see the start of a dominate run in the NBA.
If Miami is going to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals both James and Wade have to keep this up. They are two of the best players in the world and Miami needs them to play like it. If they have to score 70 points for Miami to win, so be it.
The truth is if Miami is going to win those multiple titles that they talked after signing Bosh and James this is how they have to play. They need the duo imposing their will on the game, especially in the second half.
It is what all great basketball players do for their team. They step up when the stakes are high and answer the challenge. If James and Wade continue to play like this, the rest of the NBA is in trouble.