Saturday night's game against the Indiana Pacers resembled nothing of the Heat we have come to know. Well, maybe everything up until the fourth quarter that is. It's almost becoming a bit of a thing isn't it? The Heat start off playing horrendous, look as though their minds are elsewhere then before you know it the click ticks over into the fourth and something switches.
For Miami fans, it has now become a predictable experience. You frown until half-time, mumble to those surrounding you, "They'll come back in the fourth," and boom. There it is, or more to the point, there HE is again. LeBron James.
During the playoffs last year I coined the term "Redictable." James simply has become predictably ridiculous much to the delight of Miami fans, (heart palpitations and all) and his teammates.
The physiological aspect of this is one of the main factors Miami take on adversity so well. Down 15? That's ok. Can't hit a three to save their lives? They'll make up for that in the dying minutes. They know they are capable of even the ugliest deficit and history has shown time and time again giving up early points to even the greatest of opponents, doesn't interfere with their goal to make a fourth straight Finals appearance.
It's never been about pressure or luck in those remaining 12 minutes. The final quarter has been more of a signal for Miami, a reminder that for them, it's the execution that wins them games. Tightening up on defense and going into that place in their head, that "predictable" time.
The fourth quarter comeback is now part of the Miami package. It's not just this season either. Since Saturday night, Miami have outscored the opposition by an average of 15.9 points per 100 possessions in the fourth and last year they outscored again with a lead with 13.1.
Just when you think think things are looking shaky down Biscayne Boulevard, stuff like this happens. These guys just keep getting better.
Moving forward, the rotation experiments of late may have now proved their worth, and while we still are yet to see if Greg Oden does get included on the court against the team he was signed on the pretense on one day facing, it's looking as thought the Pacers, with all that home court advantage may still replicate their 2013 results.
Be it a roller coaster game, or a roller coaster season, Miami continues to step up through the playoffs better than it's opposing roll players. The Pacers are yet to punish the Heat when they play small, can they figure it out in tonight's game 4? One would assume Miami will still be riding off Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen's shooting performance during game 3 and will be feeling eager to replicate another win that will then see them only one game away from making the Finals.
The Heat wake in a world where again they are predicted to come out on top, but that's why they play the games. Tune in tonight as they try to make it unendurable for these Pacers to continue.