During the San Antonio Spurs' march in the 2013 NBA Finals, Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily will be contributing to Project Spurs.
An old Dwyane Wade commercial used to say “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
The idea of the ad campaign was a very simple one for the athlete. It is not how you get knocked down, but how you respond when you get back. After a Game Three thrashing that saw him disappear for much of the second half, Dwyane Wade and the Heat should keep this in mind.
After all, the San Antonio Spurs did their part in responding to their own Game Two defeat leading the entire way after the Heat dominated and decimated the Spurs in Miami with a fast-break onslaught. San Antonio returned the favor in hitting an NBA Finals record 16 3-pointers.
Miami came back with a strong 109-93 victory Thursday in Game Four. Wade made his own bounce back, scoring 32 points and looking like his old Finals MVP self in the process.
Both teams now know they have that kind of dominating response within them against the other. The adjustments that need to be made cuts both ways.
“We both answered the losses very well,” Tim Duncan said following Game Three. “We both have not answered to wins very well. That’s the one thing [Gregg Popovich] always points out, you have to be able to bring that same energy with wins and not be satisfied with yourself.
“So, hopefully, we can respond even better to this win, and I know they’re going to be fueled off the energy of how this game went. So, hopefully, we can do the same and play better.”
San Antonio did not have the response it needed to the win. The Spurs struggled to take care of the ball and get points in the paint. The Heat dominated the pace and the tempo of the game. Their adjustments and execution trumped the Spurs for much of the game.
Miami’s record after losing in this postseason is pretty well documented. After the Heat’s six losses this postseason, they have won the next game by an average margin of 20.7 points with the closest game decided by 11 points. Miami has responded well throughout the postseason.
San Antonio was aware of the possibility of a very focused Miami team coming after them in Game Four. But the Spurs were powerless to stop it.
San Antonio had its own problems executing after Miami made its adjustments in Game Two. It happened again in Game Four with the turnovers and poor defensive execution – Miami shot better than 50 percent. The Spurs have to come back now and figure out how to crack the Heat’s ultra-small lineup.
San Antonio has to treat the Game Three success as a loss and come in with the focus and desperation Miami had in Game Four. Falling behind 3-2 heading back to Miami for Game Six cannot be an option.
The response will be everything for Game Five.