Game 4 lessons: 2 + 1 still equals 3

The Miami Heat pushed “The Button” on Thursday in San Antonio, a button they seem to use only when they really need it, like Popeye’s spinach.

LeBron James showed up in camouflage, which may or may not have been a coincidence, and the Heat got big games from their Big Three, using a fourth-quarter surge to put away the Spurs, 109-93.

So the narrative of the series changes again, and you may find it helpful to know what you can and can’t say about it after Game 4.

Some stuff you can’t say after Game 4


“Chris Bosh is a ninny”

Bosh was responsible for one of the great facepalm moments of the NBA playoffs, when he cocked back and slammed home a thunderous dunk — but right after time expired in the first half.

But he has to be forgiven because he played his best game of the series, going for 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Bosh rightfully takes a lot of heat for his tendency to float around on the perimeter and not get rebounds, but this just isn’t one of the nights you can rip him.

“Manu Ginobili has really come to play this series”

The thing about older players is that while they may not be able to bring it every night like they did in their prime, maybe they can do it two out of three, or at least show the flashes from time to time.

Well, we’re four games in and the Spurs still are waiting for Ginobili to flash something. He has 30 points in the series and he’s 3 for 16 from 3-point range.

With Danny Green and Gary Neal floating back down to earth after Game 3 — they combined for 13 3-pointers and 51 points in Game 3, but only six 3-pointers and 23 points in Game 4 — San Antonio needs to look across the floor. Like Miami on Thursday, the Spurs need their Big Three to play well, and it’s starting to look like Ginobili just might not add much to Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.

“I know who Jesse Williams is and what the deal is with him”

You’re innocently watching your glowing furniture and then — boom! — there’s this guy on the screen named Jesse Williams and encouraging you to keep up with what he’s up to via Twitter, except he doesn’t seem to be up to anything at all. He’s just sitting there taking photos with his phone the whole time. And he pops back into your living room at halftime and shows you his uninteresting pictures and then he’s gone.

He’s obviously selling that phone, but this is a confusing marketing scheme, is it not?

(Yeah, I know he’s that guy on "Grey’s Anatomy." But I didn’t tune in to watch a soap opera.)

Some stuff you can totally say after Game 4


“Gary Neal would make a terrific wingman”

Any time Gary Neal walks into a room, he’s the most confident guy in that room. He’d be a great wingman, because he’d never see a number he didn’t think you (or he) could get.

We know this because Gary Neal thinks nothing of taking a 26-foot shoot over LeBron James in the NBA Finals, and makes it.

“That kid who sang the national anthem has some real cojones”

Let’s just start with his age. Sebastien De La Cruz is 11. Remember being 11? Did you ever perform in front of 20,000 people at that age? Well, Sebastien did (along with millions watching on TV), and he took all kinds of racist crap for it on the Internet because he wore a mariachi outfit when he sang the national anthem before Game 3, and then he showed up before Game 4 and did it again. And he sang the pants off the song, and he gave the crowd a little wink and a little gesture and basically carried himself like freaking Usher.

“Dwyane Wade isn’t done yet”

For a great team, the Heat are awfully inconsistent. For the duration of the Big Three Era, they have had an infuriating ability to look doomed one night and unbeatable the next, and lately that has a lot to do with Wade. He is not the same player he once was, and isn’t expected to be, but he was looking slow and tired and washed up for most of the first three games of the series.

And then he scored 32 points and got six steals in a series-evening Game 4.

“He was Flash again,” James said.