Postscripts from the San Antonio Spurs' 107-86 Game 4 drubbing of the Heat in the NBA Finals, which leaves Miami one loss from elimination.
### It began, inauspiciously but appropriately, with a Chris Bosh turnover.
That would be a harbinger of a night of incompetence.
“They smashed us two straight home games,” LeBron James said. “They were much better than us in these two games. It’s that simple.”
Are the Spurs simply better? “Right now, they’re playing better than us,” Dwyane Wade said. “We’ll see at the end of the series, whoever wins is the better team. They whipped our butt.”
### Spoelstra's take afterward: "They played great. And I can honestly say I don't think any of us were expecting this type of performance. We just couldn't get into a rhythm on either side of the ball, and then it just went from there.... I've got to do a better job. We've got a couple days to figure it out, but we'll lay everything out, look under the hood and see what we need to do.
"We have to make some adjustments. We'll look at everything. But I'm going to take a step back, exhale. I've got to find a way to do a better job for my group. What I told our team is: When we're right, we can beat anybody anywhere."
### The Heat’s defensive deficiencies in Game 4? Hardly surprising, considering the lapses and miscues we witnessed the first three games of these Finals.
But this dreadful display on offense --- 12 for 34 first-half shooting (35.3 percent) , 45 percent for the game --- was unexpected and uncharacteristic, considering the Heat shot 50.5 percent in the first three games of this series and this season became the first team since the 2007-08 Phoenix Suns to make at least half its shots.
In Game 4, Heat players couldn’t stick open threes. They couldn’t finish in the paint (4 for 15 in the first half, 15 for 34 in the game). They looked rushed, sloppy and disjointed offensively. They closed with as many turnovers as assists (13).
“We got great, great shots and just missed,” Bosh said. “Dwyane [Wade] and LeBron [James] missed a couple of layups. Ray Allen missed a couple opens threes. That’s what’s tough about this…. It’s jarring. I didn’t expect this at all. It’s discouraging. They are taking us out of everything we’re doing.”
Carmelo Anthony, please pick up the white courtesy telephone. But you will need to leave $40 million-plus on the table over the next four years if you want to hook up with your buddy LeBron James in Miami. And if Anthony --- who would help only offensively --- proves an unrealistic target, a young, athletic, affordable wing player is sorely needed.
### Playing his third game in five nights, Wade looked sluggish and diminished, in no way resembling the player who was usually efficient when healthy this season, the one who tied Otis Birdsong for the highest shooting percentage by a starting two-guard in a single season since the NBA implemented the three-point shot in 1979.
Wade, whose mid-range game was immaculate all season, missed a bunch of makeable shots (1 for 7 in the paint in the first half), lacked explosion and opened 1 for 10 before closing 3 for 13, with three turnovers, on a 10-point night.
“I’m a very accurate shooter,” Wade said. “I don’t like missing. I’m not used to missing. Law of averages.”
### As for James, he too often settled for jump shots in the first half, with an 18.4-foot average shot distance, compared with less than 11 feet in the first three games. He attacked more in a 19-point third quarter but received precious little support.
“I tried to will us back in the game, had a huge third quarter, but it meant nothing,” he said.
James disputed a reporter who suggested he has to carry the load. “It’s not all on my shoulder,” he said. “I take a lot of it.”
### Mario Chalmers? Instead of benching him for extended awfulness, Erik Spoelstra instead stuck with him a bit longer than usual in the first quarter. But Chalmers was again dominated by Tony Parker.
Consider that Chalmers entered Game 4 as the first starter in 30 years to play at least 50 minutes, score 10 points or fewer and shoot 25 percent over the first three games of an NBA Finals.
Rashard Lewis? A forgettable night: 1 for 4 shooting in 16 minutes. Spoelstra replaced him with Ray Allen to start the second half.
Bosh? He opened 3 for 4 in the first quarter, then shot 2 for 7 the rest of the night, finishing with an underwhelming 12 points and four boards.
### Even Chris Andersen, who shot 64 percent during the season, seems to lose his ability to finish around the basket when he plays the Spurs. He was 1 for 4 Thursday and is 3 for 11 in the series.
### No team has rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win an NBA Finals. And the Spurs are 10-0 when lead a best-of-seven series, 3-1.
“We put ourselves in a position where it’s about making history. We have to worry about Sunday first,” James said. “Of course we’re a little down right now. As one of the leaders of the team, I have to figure out a way to get us to a 3-2 deficit.”
### Bosh’s assessment afterward: “We need to go home and do some soul-searching and get it together. If anybody can do this, it’s us. I have belief in our guys. We’re seen our fair share of adversity. This is adversity in all caps. If a guy has a single bit of doubt, he doesn’t belong here.”
### Bosh said “we’re going to need a better game plan and mindset.”
### James didn’t agree with Bosh on one thing. “Soul-searching? We don’t need much of that. As far as soul-searching, we’re a veteran club that has been to four straight Finals. We know what it takes to win. We’ve just got to go out and do it.”
### What about the booing from the AA Arena crowd? “Maybe they’re right. Maybe they deserve it.”
### It’s regrettable that Michael Beasley never gained Spoelstra’s trust because he could have helped in a game when the Heat was desperate for offense, though he assuredly would have been targeted defensively.
Beasley averaged 25.2 points per 48 minutes this season, which was 54th in the league, but wasn’t even in uniform Thursday.
### Spoelstra changed his rotation, opting for Shane Battier over James Jones in the first half and inserting Toney Douglas in a move that reeked of desperation. Neither move paid dividends.
### The Heat is closing in on setting a record for highest shooting percentage ever allowed in a Finals (52.7 by the 1991 Bulls). The Spurs, are shooting 54.2 percent after shooting 57.1 percent in Game 4.
“They are a high-oiled machine, move the ball extremely well,” James said. “They put you in positions where no other team in this league does. Guys on the weakside can do multiple things, shoot it from the outside, penetration. Our defense is geared toward running guys off the three-point line. Any little mistake, they make you pay for it.”
### Boris Diaw’s impact cannot be understated. He filled the box score with eight points, nine rebounds and nine assists and the Spurs are now plus 60 with Diaw on the court in this series.
“Diaw has given them another point guard on the floor,” James said. “It’s a challenge for us all.”
### Short stuff: Tim Duncan surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most minutes played in NBA playoff history… The Heat trailed by 19 at halftime after trailing by 21 at halftime of Game 3....
The Heat had gone 48 playoff games in a row without consecutive losses, a streak that ended short of the record 54, by the Celtics in the 1960s…. Of Leonard’s 11 career playoff double-doubles, five have come against the Heat, including a 20-point, 14-rebound gem Thursday.
### The Heat will take Friday off, practice in Miami Saturday, then fly to Texas to fulfill media obligations in San Antonio late Saturday afternoon.