In today’s league, we’re all aware that it takes a lot of talent to maintain an elite level of play — just look at Miami’s up-and-down performance in the Finals. We’ve seen the shift towards superstar-heavy rosters, players joining forces to bring home a championship, and the need for a face of the franchise. These are the players you build a team around.
But, as we watch the Finals unfold, we’re always reminded it takes more than an All-Star to take a team to the promised land. The supporting cast, the guys who slip into roles to fulfill a duty, the ones who sacrifice touches for the betterment of the team, those are the ones who ultimately make or break a season.
If you had told me that Danny Green would’ve been leading the Finals in scoring through the first three games, I would’ve laughed in your face. But after a phenomenal 27-point performance on Tuesday night, he did just that. (Last night, he reverted back to form, scoring only 10.) He might be the unlikely hero that delivers the hardware for San Antonio. Let’s look back at some of the other role players throughout history who have stepped up their game when it matters most…
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10. MIKE MILLER
Just about the only Heat player who came to play in Game 3 of the Finals was Miller, who sank all five of his three-pointers. He’s made 9-for-11 in the Finals thus far. Many forget that Miller was the key to the series clincher in last year’s Finals, hitting seven of eight triples en route to Miami’s first title with the Big Three.
Despite his injury issues over the years, Miller has always saved a little bit extra for the spotlight. He has thrived in big games for the Heat, and it seems he’ll be counted on again to help take the pressure off of LeBron and co. when the double-teams come.