Game 4 was a chance for the Miami Heat to make a statement; it was an opportunity for the defending champs to even the series heading back to Texas. Instead, what the world witnessed on Thursday night was complete domination of the Heat, once again, in Miami. The San Antonio Spurs have been playing some of the best team basketball witnessed in the NBA Finals, but even more importantly they’ve been playing with an edge created from last season’s Finals loss to the Heat.
Although the series isn’t over, no team in NBA history has come back and won the title when down 3-1 in the series. This obviously doesn’t bode well for the Heat because they will also be playing Game 5, an elimination game, in San Antonio. In all likelihood, the Heat will lose one of the next potential three games left in this series, making this just the second playoff series the Heat have lost since the formation of the Big Three.
Many will point to this potential Finals loss as the reason why LeBron James will walk away from the Heat this summer, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, this will only be a motivator to keep James in South Florida for a few more seasons. With the Eastern Conference in constant disarray, if James stays with the Heat, he will have a clear path to the NBA Finals almost every season. No other team in the league can offer this, especially a team out of the West.
The Heat fanbase need not worry. Even with this loss, the Heat have been to four NBA Finals in a row. This is an incredible feat and one that James wouldn’t be able to attain with just any other team in the league. These are the points James will focus on this summer when making his choice to opt-in or out of his contract with the Heat. In the end, though, he will undoubtedly stay in Biscayne Bay. Being able to claim the top spot in the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future is just too good to pass up.