2014 NBA Finals Game 4 preview: Can Heat bounce back from devastating loss against Spurs?

Let’s face it, the Spurs didn’t just beat the Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on ABC15; the Heat got beat down as San Antonio made 19 of its first 21 shots and shot a finals-record 76 percent in the first half of a 111-92 victory.

“The mental breakdowns happened early and then there was an avalanche,” LeBron James answered on Wednesday when asked to explain what happened. “They got hot…any minor mistake you make, they will make you pay.”

Hence, the Heat spent the entire day on the practice court, right? Not exactly. The two-time defending champs actually spent more time in a lengthy film session. 

"We did not play a good basketball game," head coach Eric Spoelstra said. "All of us have owned that. It doesn't matter ultimately how many you lose by or what the game is like. You have to learn from it, move on."

Spoelstra described watching themselves get dominated on tape was both “painful” and “frustrating,” but necessary.  And although no one revealed exactly what was discussed, James said there was no debate. 

"You know, the coach is always right," James added. "It's like a teacher. They're always right, and that's fine. That's fair. They make the rules and we've got to live by them."

In addition to the lackluster defense put on display by the Heat, here a few other issues that the Heat aim to remedy entering Game 4 at home come Thursday night on ABC15: 

  • Chris Bosh winding up with only four shot attempts after scoring 18 points in Games 1 and 2.
  • LeBron James trying to take over and rally the Heat but instead committing seven of their 20 turnovers.
  • Mario Chalmers continuing his struggles (0-5 shooting in Game 3 and falling to 3 for 12 in the finals.

There is precedent for Miami to rebound considering that it has won 13 consecutive games after losses in the playoffs dating from 2012.

But the Heat have things to clean up before Game 4 on Thursday, or they risk going back to San Antonio facing the end of their title reign.

"You're always on edge in the postseason, but I don't want to be concerned at this point," James said. "For us, we have to make the adjustments."

On Wednesday, the Spurs talked about getting the Heat’s best effort.  At the same time, San Antonio feels like it didn’t play its best in the first two games. 

"We finally put a game together for not the full 48, but for as long as we could, where we did exactly what we planned to do and executed in that respect," Tim Duncan said, "and that's what we're going to need again."

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