The relentless resilience of Mike Miller, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers and the 3 Kings helped the Miami HEAT make a 4th quarter comeback to defend their throne in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
It all started with the program for Game 6 of the NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Here's an excerpt from an article in the program titled, "Relentless: The Miami HEAT" by James Oyola:
When competing for a championship, the intangible perspective from team, or player, is just as important as a specific skill set. One of the traits that separate champions from contenders is resilience. The essence of not giving up, even when the odds do not seem in your favor, is a key ingredient for success.
The Miami HEAT went into the 4th quarter for Game 6 of the NBA Finals down 10 points with just a 27% probability of winning the game to that point. It wasn't just an elimination game for the series against the Spurs. It was an elimination game for their season and everything they stood for going into that 4th quarter. This team was built to win championships. That 10-point deficit threatened to take away what they were built for. It threatened their purpose.
It looked like they needed to play their best 4th quarter of the season. They played their most productive 4th quarter of the Finals instead. And that was enough to get them into overtime, where their purpose persisted to preserve their season.
Most Productive Players
This article uses the Estimated Wins Produced statistic created by sports economist David Berri. Average players increase a team's chance of winning 10% by producing 0.100 Estimated Wins per 48 minutes (Est.WP48) because an average NBA team produces a 0.500 winning percentage. See the HEAT Produced Page for more information.
The HEAT were at their best in the Finals when things looked their worst going into the 4th quarter. The table below lists the est. wins produced by the HEAT in the 4th quarters against the Spurs this series.
|Game 6||Period 4||MIA||SAS||0.362|
|Game 2||Period 4||MIA||SAS||0.338|
|Game 4||Period 4||MIA||SAS||0.285|
|Game 5||Period 4||MIA||SAS||0.073|
|Game 1||Period 4||MIA||SAS||-0.102|
|Game 3||Period 4||MIA||SAS||-0.252|
The HEAT increased their chance of winning Game 6 by 42% in the 4th quarter and OT while the Spurs decreased their chance of winning by 10%.
Mike Miller was the most productive HEAT player in the 4th quarter and OT. He increased the HEAT's chance of winning by 13% with his one-shoe three-pointer to cut the Spurs lead to 4 early in the 4th quarter, 2 defensive rebounds and 1 shot block. His hustle to pick up the offensive rebound and assist for LeBron James' big three that cut the Spurs lead to 2 with 20.1 seconds left set the table for Ray Allen.
Allen was the 2nd most productive HEAT player in the 4th quarter and OT. He increased the HEAT's chance of winning 11.5% by scoring all 9 of his points for the game in the last two periods on 3-4 shooting with the game-tying 3 to force OT and a clutch steal and 2 free throws in OT that were the last points scored in the game.
Mario Chalmers was the most productive HEAT player in the game and the 3rd most productive HEAT player in the 4th quarter and OT. Rio scored 17 points on 6-9 shooting to increase the HEAT's chance of winning 22% in the first 3 quarters and kept the deficit within 10 by running the 1-3 pick-and-roll he and LeBron had so much success with in Game 2. Rio finished what he started with 3 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist that increased the HEAT's chance of winning 10% in the 4th quarter and OT.
Rio outplayed Tony Parker for the 2nd time in the Finals. Parker only increased the Spurs' chance of winning 5% in the 4th quarter and OT with 2-8 shooting, including 0-4 in OT and 1-2 from the FT line. Parker shot 6-23 for the game.
While members of the "Little 12" thrived, the 3 Kings struggled in Game 6. They only increased the HEAT's chance of winning 4% while the Older Gods on the Spurs increased their team's chance of winning 26%. The difference between the two groups was how they finished.
Tim Duncan was the 2nd most productive Spurs player with 30 points on 13-21 shooting and 17 rebounds that increased his team's chance of winning the game by 20%, but he decreased their chance of winning 18% in the 4th quarter and OT by shooting 0-5 from the floor.
The same story goes for Kawhi Leonard, the most productive Spurs player in Game 6. Leonard racked up 22 points and 11 rebounds to increase his team's chance of winning 24%, but his missed free throw with 19 seconds left gave Ray Allen the opportunity to send the game into OT with that clutch 3-pointer.
Despite their struggles, the 3 Kings showed tremendous resilience to come through for their teammates when they needed them.
Chris Bosh increased the HEAT's chance of winning 5% in the 4th quarter and OT with BIG plays for 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 2 blocks. That 1 rebound and assist were the offensive board and pass to Ray Allen for the game-tying 3. Those 2 points were the 1st in OT and those 2 blocks were in the last 32 seconds and saved the game.
LeBron increased the HEAT's chance of winning 4% in the 4th quarter and OT with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 big block on Tim Duncan. His impact was reduced by the 4 turnovers, 2 fouls and Kawhi Leonard (who had 9 points and 4 boards without any turnovers). Instead of letting the turnovers cost the HEAT the game like they did in Game 1, LeBron kept fighting to win and in the end he made up for it... and fucked around and got a triple double.
Least Productive Players
Danny Green was the least productive player in Game 6. He decreased the Spurs' chance of winning by 11% with 1-7 shooting and 4 fouls. So much for the random scrub HEAT killer becoming Finals MVP.
Like Green, Manu Ginobili went from sugar to shit in Game 6. He decreased the Spurs' chance of winning by 8% with 4 fouls and career-high 8 turnovers in 34.7 minutes, including the turnover that led to Ray Allen clinching the game with 2 free throws in OT.
Birdman and Dwyane Wade were the least productive HEAT players in Game 6. They each decreased the team's chance of winning by 1%. Wade struggled to score 14 points on 15 shots (40% shooting) and his 3 turnovers and 4 fouls didn't help. Birdman was active with 4 rebounds and 3 steals but racked up 4 fouls in 14 minutes and only scored 1 point.
The more resilient team will win Game 7 and the 2013 NBA championship.
Will Ginobili and Green bounce back from their poor performances in a heart-breaking defeat? Will Kawhi Leonard continue to play well or go out like Nick Anderson after missing a free throw that could've won the Spurs a title? Will Duncan find a way to dominate the game from beginning to end? Will Parker find a way to score efficiently against a defensive attack led by LeBron James?
Will Wade and the 3 Kings follow-up sub-par production in Game 6 with the BIG Game 7 performance their teammates and fans expect? Will Mario Chalmers find a way to be productive in consecutive games for the first time this series? Will Udonis Haslem be ready to knock down shots, defend and clean up the glass without fouling if called on in Game 7 after being benched for Game 6? Will offensive players like Mike Miller and Ray Allen be able to dig deep and lockdown the Spurs defensively? Will Erik Spoelstra trust them if they struggle or trust his defensive players instead?
Game 6 turned when the HEAT stopped trying to win a shootout with the Spurs and made it a defensive game. The Spurs' shooting efficiency was 63% in the 1st half and just 40% in the 2nd half. Which force will be more relentless and resilient in Game 7 - the HEAT defense or the Spurs offense?
The world will find out at 9 PM ET on June 20th.
The spreadsheet below lists the wins produced estimated for all players from the Game 6 boxscore.