It's not yet time to jump off the cliff of despair, Heat fans.
Yes, the Heat suddenly feels like the underdog in this series. (That was the theme of today's preview of Game 4. Here's the link. CLICK ME!) But I'm not ready to write off the Heat just yet.
Dwyane Wade enters Game 4 less than healthy, but the Heat still has the best player in the game (LeBron James). Give me a determined James and I like my chances in any game. Here are three things that need to happen for the Heat to swing momentum in this series back in its favor:
1. An average game from Wade.
Wade doesn't have to blow up for 30 points today for the Heat to beat the Pacers. An 18-point effort combined with solid defense is all the Heat needs from Wade. Wade checked out mentally in the third quarter of Game 3. Obviously, that can't happen today. Wade can still contribute in other ways today if his jumper is off. Offensively, attacking the basket will be Wade's priority. If he can get to the line 10 times, the Heat will win.
2. Rebounding from LeBron James.
James had a postseason career high in rebounding in the Game 1 and the Heat won. The Pacers' greatest strength in this series is their height advantage. James can neutralize that advantage if he focuses his efforts in the paint.
3. Six three-pointers
The Heat doesn't need to shoot the lights out to beat the Pacers. Six three-pointers should be enough. Shane Battier must find his jumper early in the game. Battier was 0 of 6 from distance in Game 4. Mike Miller was 2 of 3 from three-point range in Game 4. If he duplicates that total and the Heat finds four more three-pointers from Battier, Chalmers and James Jones that should be enough.
We'll revisit this post after the game to see how the predictions held up.