The Miami Heat rode the wave of a dominant LeBron James 3rd quarter to beat the Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “I just kind of went back to my Cleveland days,” said James. Indeed, things are looking very Cavs-like around LeBron right now. Witness the work of his second and third options:
Mo Williams, 2010 Playoffs: 11 games, 14.4 ppg, 5.4 apg, 41% FGs.
Dwyane Wade, 2013 Playoffs: 14 games, 13.9 ppg, 5.5 apg, 46% FGs.
Wade has gone 11 consecutive games without scoring 20 points as he continues to break down before our eyes. He appeared dispirited and disinterested whilst shooting 3-for-8 with two airballs in Game 5.
Antawn Jamison, 2010 Playoffs: 11 games, 15.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 47% FGs.
Chris Bosh, 2013 Playoffs: 14 games, 13.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 49% FGs.
Bosh’s five rebounds on Tuesday actually increased his average for this series, and he has scored just 14 points in the last two games combined. Bosh has effectively become a 6’11” shooting guard in the Heat offense, and the Pacers big men have taken advantage of him at the other end.
The duo’s struggles prompt pertinent questions over the viability of the Big 3 leading the Heat to “not two, not three, not four…” championships moving forward. LeBron left Cleveland to get help; Heat president Pat Riley may have to get him more help than this if he is to stay in Miami after 2014.
Heat insider Brian Windhorst speculates that the front office will explore a Chris Bosh trade in the summer regardless of this season’s final outcome:
There is still time for Wade and Bosh to rally and help lead the Heat to title No. 2 in the Big 3 era, particularly with the less physical Spurs awaiting them in the Finals. But an uncertain future will certainly have Riles weighing up his options.