For Miami, they did what they needed to do to return back to Miami, but they didn't do enough to come home with a series lead. The Spurs are excited to have two opportunities to capture their fifth championship in 15 years.
The Heat, hope to only survive their second elimination game so far this postseason. The last time the Heat faced an elimination game, they demolished the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Now, they'll hope to force a Game 7 by winning Game 6 in Miami.
Game 5 found the Heat constantly trying to catch up to the Spurs who reeled off several long runs against the them. Most notably a 21-2 run that pushed them to a 20 point fourth quarter lead. Although the Heat had 25 points from both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, it was the return of Manu Ginobili that stole the headlines.
The Heat should expect Ginobili to again start, and maybe Erik Spoelstra will consider a lineup change on his end of the spectrum. Spoelstra started Mike Miller in Game 4 that led to a win, but in Game 5 the lineup didn't produce the same result. In fact, Miller went scoreless since being inserted into the lineup. Maybe he considers a return to Udonis Haslem, or even Shane Battier who found range in Game 5.
Either way, the Heat have several in game adjustments they need to make. They'll need to solve the problem of Tony Parker going isolation on the Heat's point guards, and they'll need to contain Ginobili from being so effective. The Heat need to make their layups, contain Danny Green, and LeBron must be great from start to finish.
The heat is on Miami to make things happen. The reality of this team is that the season is championship or bust. Either way, the Heat were in this position in the 2011 NBA Finals - let's see what they have learned.
Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT