Wherever LeBron James goes, the attention and media follows. He is always at the center of everything when it comes to basketball. If he dominates a game, then everyone says it’s expected. If he has a poor game, they’ll say he’ll never be on Jordan’s level. That always boggled my mind that people actually have started to compare him to Jordan, despite James only winning one championship.
After being blown out by the San Antonio Spurs in game three, the Miami Heat has been searching for answers on what went wrong. While they have been searching, the media has focused on just one man and that is LeBron James. They failed to recognize San Antonio’s 16 three pointers or outrebounding Miami by 16 either. Of course, Danny Green and Gary Neal got mentioned for their performances. Still everything was directed towards James.
The word going around is that James doesn’t have a killer instinct and tends to pass too often. The second may be a bit true, but since when was passing too often a bad thing? This is a team that has Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, and other talented players right? This isn’t the Cleveland Cavaliers, where it was a beaten down Shaquille O’Neal, Antwan Jamison, and Mo Williams.
People are starting to forget that Dwayne Wade is still a top ten player in the league. Despite his struggles and playing out of position, Chris Bosh can still be productive. Also, they have a wide array of shooters in Ray Allen, Mike Miller, and Mario Chalmers. With all the talent around him, why wouldn’t James pass? This is a team that clearly is stacked with talent and has shown in the past that they can dominate.
As for the talk about James not having a killer instinct, it might be the most thoughtless term you can ever label him with. I’m aware of people having poor memory because they are too busy watching Skip Bayless clog their mind with idiocy. In case you want to judge James’ killer instincts, do these clips seem “killer” enough for you?
Remember when people criticized James couldn’t win the big one in Cleveland? Did he lack the killer instinct? No it came down to putting actual talent around him. Wouldn’t you want to leave a team if you averaged 38.5 points a game, eight rebounds, and eight assist yet your team still lost? Here’s a clip of James carrying Cleveland to a game one victory over Orlando.
How about the next clip in Miami when James was going up against the Celtics, who were up there with Chicago as Miami’s biggest rivals. After Boston controlled most of game five, Miami knew that playing game six to Boston would have been extremely difficult to win in. James took over the last two minutes and Miami was on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The last clip I have for you is the infamous game six in Boston. Miami was on the brink of elimination and Erik Spolestra was close to being fired. James ended up having 45 points and 15 rebounds in what was a statement game from him. Miami lost only more game in the playoffs after that. After this game, it was pretty much James sticking both middle fingers to the media and telling the world that nobody would stop him.
Basketball is a team sport and will forever be a team sport. Does LeBron need to start being more aggressive? Of course he does due to these circumstances. He shouldn’t be criticized to this extent for being passive. San Antonio is an excellent defensive team that can cover a lot of space, despite being considered slow due to the age of their star players. Gregg Popovich has his team always well organized.
What needs to happen for Miami to win is simply better all-around play on both ends of the court. They need to limit San Antonio from getting clean looks from three-point range. They have to start rebounding better, especially since San Antonio isn’t necessarily that big. If they continue to allow second-chance opportunities, then San Antonio can easily capitalize on more three-pointers.
LeBron James is the best player in the world and will be needed to step up. That doesn’t mean he needs to shoot 25 shots per game the rest of the way. San Antonio is making Miami’s role players beat them. It’ll be up to players like Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and even Chris Bosh needs to start contributing more. They aren’t going to let James get easy looks, whether it’s from jump shots or driving to the basket.
I’m sure James will be more aggressive, but he’ll continue to pass the ball and find the open man. Miami has surrounded him with too much talent not to succeed. Of course, they still need an actual center but they’ll have to wait until July for that. When he needs to start taking over, I’m sure he’ll be more aggressive and bring out the “killer instinct” he’s always had. One game doesn’t change a player and that will be proven throughout the rest of this series.
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