The plan of attack has been the same from both sides the entire time. If the Spurs wanted to win the 2014 NBA Finals, they’d have to dominate the paint on offense and execute efficiently everywhere else. Above all else, they’d need to play the same top flight defense they’d been doing all season.

For the Heat, it’d take some x-factor performances out of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and quite possibly even sharpshooter Ray Allen – just like he did a year ago. Bosh was arguably the biggest key, however, as Miami’s only major force inside the paint. Chris “Birdman” Anderson would need to impact the game with some shot-blocking and Bosh would have to bring his game to another level on offense.

Through four games, the Spurs have mostly done what they set out to do, and the Heat simply haven’t. The lone game Miami has stolen in a 3-1 series hole was a narrow win in San Antonio, while they’ve dropped each of the last two in blowout fashion – on their home court, no less.

Facing a devastating 3-1 hole in the Finals, the Heat have history working against them. No team has ever come back from a hole like that in NBA Finals history.

That doesn’t mean a Heat team playing in their fourth straight Finals series can’t be the first.

In fact, it could be as simple as the Heat playing like the Heat we saw in just about every game leading into this Finals matchup. You know, as a team.

“None of us have played well enough,” admitted Heat guard Dwyane Wade. “Were not singling out anybody on the team. We as a team, the Miami Heat, we haven’t played well enough.”

Yes and no.

Wade certainly hasn’t played well enough. He could absolutely be referring to himself there. Chris Bosh hasn’t, either. In fact, say what you want about the Heat as a whole; just be sure not to include LeBron James. Take away his cramp-ridden game one, and he’s actually playing fantastic basketball.

The Heat have three avenues they can travel down on Sunday night when they take on the Spurs again. They can lie down and give up the series, LeBron James can put them on his back and take over, or the rest of the team can actually show up and help him out.

As might as the Spurs are, and as likely as it is that they’ll deliver the death blow at some point, this team is still too good to lose such a massive series in just five games. If only to extend their fate for one more night, King James or the Heat as a whole will delay the inevitable.

Pick: Heat 106, Spurs 98

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