For LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it will be the closest they've been to an NBA title, and I expect them to bring their A-games. LeBron suffered from leg cramps during the final quarter of Game 4, but he doesn't think it'll affect his performance on the court.
"I feel a lot better than I did last night. That's clear," LeBron told reporters. "I'm still a little [sore] because of the muscles just kind of being at an intense level, very tight. I'm still sore. I was able to get some treatment last night. I was able to get some treatment this morning. ... And also with the game being basically at midnight tomorrow night, I have all day tomorrow, too, to prepare. I should be fine by tomorrow night."
The Thunder won the first game of the series, but the Heat made the necessary adjustments, winning the next three encounters between the two teams. LeBron solidified his status as the best player in the NBA with his performances throughout the postseason, and he's been a huge factor in the Heat's success against the Thunder.
Last year, Miami's role-players failed them during the Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, but they've been nothing short of spectacular against the Thunder. From Shane Battier to rookie Norris Cole, Miami's supporting cast continues to deliver consistently, putting the Heat in a position to win their first NBA title under coach Erik Spoelstra.
Even though things couldn't be going any better for Miami right now, Game 5 is certainly a must-win situation. We've all seen how good the Thunder can be at home, and it wouldn't be wise to take any chances against them.
Given all the unnecessary criticism the Heat have taken in the last two years, I'm sure they understand what's at stake. I expect the "big three" to put up historic numbers on Thursday, and emerge as the 2012 NBA champions.
Associated Press, "Thunder-Heat Preview"
Player and game information from ESPN.com
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