LeBron James of the Miami Heat is arguably the greatest, most talented player in the NBA. On any given night, he is a stat-stuffing machine and as unstoppable as a force of nature. After watching LeBron Play in these 2013 NBA Finals to this point, however, he more closely resembles the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz than anything else.
James apologists will defend his Game 2 performance as ‘taking what the San Antonio Spurs gave him’ and will point to his final stat line of 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocks as proof that he was instrumental in the Heats’ blowout 19-point win. People with eyes who watched the game, though, will more accurately say that James was as passive and timid as a field mouse when the game was close.
It wasn’t until Mario Chalmers and the non-stars started breaking the game open late in the third quarter that James built up the courage to drive the lane.
Listen, if it sounds like I’m being unusually harsh on James, you may have a point; but in my defense, James played like he was scared for three quarters and that was unmistakable. It’s also the type of play that James must correct if the Heat are going to win this series.
While it was nice to see Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh contribute, the team needs an aggressive James in order to beat a Spurs team that won’t collapse again like this at home. In Game 2, James only attempted two free-throws, which is unheard of considering the sheer power, mass and speed that James has.
No, James needs to dig deep within himself and find the heart necessary to play like a three-time league MVP. LeBron needs to take stock of his play, wake up and take control of this series like only he can.
Why? Because if James doesn’t, not even the man behind the curtain can save the Heat from losing this series.