Five Adjustments the Miami Heat Must Make for Game 5

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5. Slow Down Kemba Walker


It’s no secret that Walker has been the best player in this series. He leads all scorers through the first four games with 99 points and made a mockery of Miami’s defense in Games 3 and 4. Miami must find a way to, at least, slow down the former University of Connecticut product in order to keep Charlotte off the board. Walker is not just the primary scorer for Charlotte, he’s the primary ball-handler and assist man, particularly in this series.

He needs to be double-teamed in late-game situations and guys like Dragic and rookie Josh Richardson need to step up and play him far more aggressively than they have been. Miami’s guards can’t be afraid to push him around and make his life a living hell. If they can do that, they can stop the Hornets. Walker is the head of the snake and to kill the snake, Miami must cut off the head. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but if you ask guys like Dragic or Richardson, they will admit they haven’t done a strong enough job and must get better at slowing him down in Game 5 and beyond.

While Miami must focus on each of these five keys in order to take Game 5, it’s equally important that they simply begin to execute their offense. The team is getting good looks in the series, but many of the shots just aren’t falling. This may be due to a temporary lack of confidence or it may just be the way the ball is bouncing. Whatever it is, no amount of game-planning, coaching, or inspirational pep talks by Udonis Haslem or coach Juwan Howard will help Miami get over the hump. Game 5 is often the decisive matchup in a seven-game series so we will soon see if the Heat can get back to their high-scoring ways and take this series back from a surging Hornets squad.

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Grant is a life-long Miami Heat fan hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His earliest Heat memories involve Eddie Jones going off on opponents and hoping he'd become the next Michael Jordan. When that didn't pan out, a guy named Dwyane Wade came to Miami and Grant's fandom turned to obsession. He graduated with an English degree from the University of Central Florida and currently resides in Los Angeles.