Beyond that, Miami's supporting cast -- Mario Chalmers, Allen, Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis and Chris Andersen -- have been thoroughly outperformed by San Antonio's role players. Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have yet to deliver a true breakout performance, and the Spurs have still exploded out to 20-point leads in the first half of the two games in Miami.
No team in NBA Finals history has overcome a 3-1 series deficit. The overwhelming challenge ahead, combined with the mind-boggling meltdown on their home court, left James and the Heat plotting incremental stages of retreating, regrouping and recovering in hopes of extending the series.
Heat players had the day off Friday, which was the retreat stage. James and Wade both said their time would be spent getting their minds and bodies as far away from the game as possible. The team had a practice scheduled for Saturday in Miami to regroup before an afternoon flight to San Antonio.
It remains to be seen if the Heat have enough in them to recover against the Spurs on Sunday.
"This series is not over," said James, who is averaging 27.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and shooting 60 percent from the field through four games. "We've got guys with too much pride to even start thinking about [it being over]. At the end of the day, our focus will be, 'How do we get better than we did in Game 3 and Game 4 at home?' We're going with that bunker mentality in Game 5."
Not even that may be enough to hold off a Spurs team that rolled through Miami like a tank.
Since combining to miss four consecutive free throws during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter of a 98-96 Game 2 loss in San Antonio, Duncan and Parker have masterfully motivated and guided a unit that's been determined to avoid giving Miami any openings to exploit.
The Spurs entered the playoffs with the best road record in the league (30-11) and were also one of the NBA's top shooting teams. They've raised their performance level to historic heights in the Finals, with two unprecedented blowout wins in Miami and a shooting clip that has them at 54.2 percent overall, 46.7 from 3-point range and 73.7 from the free throw line in the series.
No team in Finals history has shot better than 52.7 percent for the duration of a series. Perhaps the most revealing aspect of San Antonio's dominance so far is its 102-62 edge in assists.
"They're getting to their game a lot better than we are -- they're doing what they want to do better than we are," said Wade, who has combined with James to commit 33 turnovers in four games.
"They whipped our butt, and you've got to give them credit for coming out, getting to their game for 48 minutes. If we want to get back into the series, we have to be better. If not, then it will be over."
The Heat have a track record of coming back from situations that seem futile.
It happened in 2012, when they were down 3-2 in the conference finals against the Boston Celtics and won Game 6 on the road to stave off elimination. The Heat won Game 7 at home and advanced to beat Oklahoma City in five games in the Finals. Last season, Miami prevailed in Game 7 at home in the conference finals against the Pacers to set up the first meeting with the Spurs in the Finals.