Originally written May 20, 2012 on Midwest Sports Fans:
01
For a team trailing 2-1 in a playoff series, Game 4 is always a must-win scenario. Today’s Game 4 against Indiana is still a must-win for the Heat, but for far more than the simple reason of having a shot to win the series. Dwyane Wade walks off the court as the Pacers celebrate their 78-75 Game 2 victory. (Andrew Innerarity / Reuters) The most basic reason the Heat need a victory is to avoid falling behind 3-1 in the series. This would not be the end for the Heat, but it would be a tough task to take three in a row against a Pacers team with all of the momentum in the series. Besides that clear reason, the Heat need a win to get things back on the right track. Dwyane Wade cannot score five points, get in an argument with his coach, and be let off the hook. He also finished with the worst plus/minus of any player in the game at -25. With Bosh out, Wade and LeBron need to combine for around 60 points for the Heat to have any shot of winning against the Pacers. If they can reach that scoring clip, then 25 points from Chalmers, as he had on Thursday, would surely make up for the void of Chris Bosh. The biggest problem that the Heat face, and one of the main reasons why they struggled on Thursday, is their lack of depth beyond Bosh, James, and Wade. Mario Chalmers has stepped up this year as the best player outside of the Big Three, but he can not be expected to put up twenty points a game. Especially with Bosh out, other players will need to step up. When Wade has a bad game, LeBron is not capable of doing it all by himself, as the lack of offensive threats leads to the Pacers keying in on him specifically. Shane Battier is one of these players, and he had a forgettable performance on Thursday. In 23 minutes he had zero points and zero assists, which did nothing to help the Heat’s cause. He only has five points in the entire series in a total of 80 minutes. As a starter he will need to at least get into double digits in scoring to help his team. Finding a combination of guys to play down low has become a special project for Erik Spoelstra in Bosh’s absence. He tried to put Dexter Pittman in the starting center spot, but he was clearly outmatched and only played three minutes in the game. Joel Anthony is usually in this spot, but he is not a scoring threat compared to Bosh. The Heat have the ability to come out and quiet their critics with a win over Indiana, but LeBron and D-Wade will have to play near perfect basketball. Both will have to put up scoring in the 20s, along with at least one other player. This may be Mario Chalmers, or even a surprise player like Udonis Haslem or even Shane Battier. It will need to be a near perfect effort by James and Wade for the Heat to win, which is in stark contrast to the total team game being played by the Pacers. Relying on two guys, (usually three when Bosh is healthy), is not a great way to combat a team that plays a total team game, so the outlook for the Heat is very gloomy if they can not find a way to win Game 4.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

Is hiring Mack Brown a real possibility for SMU Mustangs?

NFL: Abdullah should not have been penalized for praying

Belichick: Pats 'didn't play well enough at all' against Chiefs

Astros new manager A.J. Hinch: ‘Goal is to win championships’

Oakland Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams engage in war of words

Georgia RB Todd Gurley falsely accused of punching student

Russell Westbrook: "I'm the best point guard" in NBA

Texas WR takes shot at Baylor ahead of big game

Jim Harbaugh: Deion Sanders' report is 'a bunch of crap'

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

The best and worst MLB players in September

Tracking demanding career paths of all Top 25 head coaches

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Strahan to make cameo as stripper in 'Magic Mike' sequel

Chiefs player penalized for praying after touchdown

Bill Belichick laughs off QB question...literally

Patriots fan fails with American flag face paint

Joe Fauria's new puppy is responsible for his ankle injury

LaRon Landry suspended four games for PED violation

NBA GMs on the hot seat

Heat News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

NFL admits error on Abdullah penalty

The best and worst MLBers in Sept.

College FB coaches, tough career paths

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Chiefs player penalized for praying after TD

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe, Deron engage in war of words

Belichick laughs off QB question

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.