Miami Heat superstar LeBron James once again filled the stat sheet in game five of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. LeBron showed once agin that he is clearly the most physically blessed player in the history of the NBA as he powered his way to 30 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. Being fair to LeBron one has to point out that he puts these godly numbs up every single night. The man makes great use of his amazing size, strength, speed, and agility for most of the NBA game that he plays in. When one just looks at the stat sheets, people would think that this man is truly in the same class as even the NBA holy trinity of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan. The problem is those stats carry the weight of a sack of feathers rather than the sack of gold that they need carry.
I ask those that watched the game to provide me with which one of LeBron James’s baskets were huge shots that helped decide the game? I ask which steal did he make that turned the momentum and gave Miami the edge that they needed to put this Boston Celtics team away? Which rebound that he secured was the one that gave the possession to Miami that helped hold Boston off? The answer is none. The signature moment never happened for LeBron as he merely filled a stat sheet.
While LeBron was filling the stat sheet with great displays of power and athleticism, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo of the Celtics were not having great games. Both Pierce and Rondo struggled with their shot and were a big reason why Boston shot under 35 percent for the half. Rondo had 13 assists, but only 7 points on 3-15 shooting. Pierce may have finished with 19 points, but 6- 19 shooting is hardly Pierce in the zone. However, these men had moments that just seem to allude James as they made HUGE plays that seem like they counted for so much more than the five points that they accounted for.
The Boston Celtics were down six points in the fourth quarter and Dwayne Wade made a huge defensive play by rejecting a power dunk from Brandon Bass. The problem for Miami is Rajon Rondo did not quit on the play. Rondo would not only run and tip the rebound away from LeBron, but he also tipped it perfectly to Mickael Pietrus for a wide open three that cut the Miami lead to only three points. Instead of having all the momentum, the ball and a six point lead heading into the final minutes of the game, Rondo cut Miami’s lead in half and killed their momentum.
Paul Pierce despite having issues shooting all night added one more great shot to his long history of huge clutch shots. Pierce would do what he had done to Indiana and Al Harrington in the 2003 NBA playoffs. Pierce would calmly take the ball five steps from the three point line, walk the ball with an assassins calmness to the three point line with LeBron right in his face. The moment Pierce sensed LeBron had given him the space he needed by backing up to deter being driven on Pierce would bury a big time three with LeBron helplessly looking on as Boston would go up four points with about a minute to go. Pierce had struggled all night and yet he acted as though knew the big moment was his.
The bottom line is great players make greater plays. Pierce and Rondo may have not even combined to post the numbers that LeBron did by himself, but in the big moment their plays accounted for so much more. You do not think LeBron would trade all of his stats last game for just one of the moments that Rondo or Pierce had? Filling a stat sheet is nice, but it does not guarantee the all important win. Maybe one day one of those thirty plus points for LeBron will mean the same as one of the plays Pierce or Rondo had last night because the fact is their just are not any moments like this on his resume. This missing piece is why Rondo and Pierce have a certain piece of jewelry that LeBron still is in the hunt for. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!!