After a pair of disastrous outings on their home floor in Florida, the Miami Heat enter Sunday's Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals in San Antonio just one loss away from elimination, needing a win in hostile territory to extend their season and keep their hopes of a history-making comeback alive. With the AT&T Center crowd in full-throated anticipation of the win that clinches the fifth NBA championship of the Spurs' gilded Tim Duncan-Gregg Popovich era, the two-time defending champs figure to need a lot of things if they hope to disrupt the Spurs' brilliant recent run; one of them, of course, is confidence.
“We’re not going down, we’re going to win this game tonight,” Bosh said [during Miami's Sunday shootaround]. “We’re going to come, prepare like we need to do. Plain and simple, we’re going to win this game.”
Asked if Bosh was guaranteeing a victory, he opted not to put a stamp on his statement, but he certainly didn’t backpedal either.
“I don’t care about guarantees, we’re just going to win the game,” he said. “Take it like you want it.” [...]
“Everybody comes to you with statistics and numbers and stuff like that,” Bosh said. “We’re in a situation we’ve never been in before. There is more desperation in everything. We don’t have time for mistakes or anything. We have to be perfect tonight.”
Miami has been anything but over the past two games. They've struggled at times to generate offense, failing to meaningfully compromise San Antonio's defense, shooting just 35.3 percent in the first half of Game 4 and watching as everybody not named LeBron James combined for just two points on 1-for-9 shooting in the third quarter on Thursday. But that's nothing compared to the defensive struggle that's led to the Spurs shooting a scorching 58.2 percent from the field over the last eight quarters and scoring at a rate of offensive efficiency — 128.9 points per 100 possessions — that is miles above the full-season marks managed by even the most potent offensive teams in NBA history.
They need much more on both ends of the floor from everyone, including Bosh, who combined aggressive interior play with floor-spacing shooting to score 18 points in both Games 1 and 2, but who has scored just 21 points combined in Games 3 and 4 and struggled defensively to handle assignments against the likes of Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw. But facing a 3-1 deficit that has spelled doom for every other team that has faced it in NBA Finals history, Bosh knows that he and his teammates can't linger over the missed opportunities of the past two games, and must instead put all their mental, physical and emotional energy into surviving Game 5.
"[...] Those emotions are [about] getting the job done. I want to get the job done," Bosh said Saturday. "I'm excited. I can't wait."
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