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NBA Finals: How Miami's Big Three can turn 'The Heatles' into 'The Unbeatables'

LeBron James needs his sidekicks to show up like they did during Game 2 for Miami to defeat the Thunder.
by Berry Tramel Modified: June 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm •  Published: June 16, 2012

/articleid/3685238/1/pictures/1750917">Photo - Miami Heat's Chris Bosh, left, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James , right, gesture during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks defeated the Heat 95-93. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)  ORG XMIT: AAA160
Miami Heat's Chris Bosh, left, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James , right, gesture during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks defeated the Heat 95-93. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) ORG XMIT: AAA160

When Wade attacks like LeBron, and is successful, defenses bunker down. Know why Shane Battier has 17 points in each of the first two games? Because the Thunder will let Battier shoot all series long. They are not going to tighten down on Battier when the paint must be fortified to protect against a LeBron or Wade assault.

Can the Heat keep it up? Well, health is a good sign. But Miami for two straight seasons has been inconsistent. LeBron and Wade haven't always mixed, Bosh hasn't always shown up, the sidekicks have been mostly blah.

Was Game 2 an aberration, or has the Heat finally caught its wave?

Again, Wade and Bosh are the key. LeBron is going to play in a dominant way. But Wade and Bosh?

“We knew that he had to be aggressive, and he's one of our attackers,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Wade. “So we were trying to play to our identity. He set the tone at the beginning. You could see with his aggressiveness off the bounce.”

But why is that ever not the case? Contrast that with Russell Westbrook, who doesn't always play well but always comes to play. Aggression is never an issue with Russ.

So why is it with Wade?

Some say he's got to be hurt, that his chronic knee problems will never fully go away. But if so, then every Heat game is a crapshoot, and LeBron's got an even bigger load to bear.

This much we know. If Bosh and Wade together can duplicate Game 2 three more times, the 2012 NBA championship parade won't be on the Bricktown Canal, it will be down Biscayne Boulevard.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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