LeBron James and Dwyane Wade just keep getting it done, no matter what the odds are.
The Miami Heat were able to defeat the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 87-83, despite being down at multiple points late in the game. James and Wade put the team on their backs tonight, combining for 45 points on 19-for-34 shooting from the field. Most importantly, the duo either scored or assisted on every point the team had in the fourth quarter.
Indiana played a great grind-it-out kind of game on their home floor, once again clogging the lane and forcing Miami to primarily beat it in the mid-range or from deep if the team wanted to create some holes in the lane of the Pacers’ defense; Wade especially did just that. From early on in the game to the very end, Wade was able to hit some clutch shots in the mid range, even hitting some highly contested shots that were almost blocked by Roy Hibbert or Lance Stephenson. Wade has been a longtime master of creating his own shot just within the arc, and boy did he hit that pull-up jump shot time after time.
James was also efficient from the floor helping his team out in big ways both offensively and defensively. Offensively, James was able to benefit from Wade hitting jump shots and opening up the floor, allowing him to drive in the half court and get to the rim, a spot where James is almost unstoppable due to his unique size and strength. Defensively, James was able to force steals and create turnovers, making it easier for some of the younger players such as Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole to get out in transition and get good looks cutting to the basket or spotting up from deep. All in all, James is at his best when he is playing the best defense he can play and making things happen on that end of the floor in order to get his team out and running.
James and Wade both took over in the fourth quarter, doing what they do best in being reliable for their team. Indiana had the rest of the Heat locked down for most of the fourth quarter, but both James and Wade knew that if they did not get it going then they would be heading back to Miami down 2-0. Both players utilized their great chemistry and created for each other, which allowed for Indiana to become preoccupied with James and Wade and leave other players such as Ray Allen and Chris Andersen open for easy dump offs and spot-up jump shots.
When James and Wade are focused on both ends of the floor and healthy, there is no team that can stop the Heat in either conference. Both players reminded the rest of the league in Game 2 against the Pacers why the Heat are so difficult to stop. Both James and Wade know how to lead a team and look back and make crucial adjustments in order to go out and win the next game. Regardless of what Indiana does from here on out, both James and Wade are able to critically analyze the situation and come up with a solution to whatever the Pacers throw at them.
James and Wade are two of the best players that the NBA has to offer, and with those two teaming up and putting both their physical and mental capabilities together, they can lead the Heat to familiar territory for the team in recent years: the NBA Finals.