Loss @ MSG
Yesterday’s loss at New York brought back a recurring dream, or perhaps a nightmare, for the Miami Heat. The camera was focused on the Heat huddle, showing LeBron James being very animated. It didn’t appear that Coach Erik Spoelstra had much control while drawing up a play on the clipboard.
Look, Dwyane Wade is the closer. He got the call and didn’t come through. Amare Stoudemire switched on the pick to guard Wade, who lost his dribble down the lane. He recovered possession by peeling out to the 3-point line between the wing and the corner, missing the game-winning shot contested by Landry Fields.
LeBron James has been ridiculed for passing the ball on the final shot. He makes the correct basketball play when a teammate is left open, but teammates don’t get the same heat as star players!
You don’t have to go back to the days when Michael Jordan hit open shooters, whether it was John Paxon or Steve Kerr for thew win.
Look at last night, hours after the Knicks avoided a sweep. The Lakers pulled out a close game at Denver, courtesy of 3-pointers by Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions.
It’s understandable, LeBron embraces the nickname “King James” and “The Chosen One,” so he has to do everything imaginable on the court at any given time. Prisoners of the moment dismiss his years in Cleveland, putting that franchise on his back of contention and even reaching the finals.
James scored 6 points in the final 90 seconds. He caught some rhythm with an acrobatic and one that fouled out Tyson Chandler, followed by a clutch 3-pointer at the top with 36 seconds remaining.
Wade notched 11 while James hit 9, combining for 20 points in the 4th quarter. No one can fault Miami for going to Wade. Not only is he the most proven closer on the team, but one of the best in the NBA with the game on the line.
Perhaps in yesterday’s situation, Miami is leading the series three games to none…maybe put the ball in James’ hands. He is the one that makes this team go, and you know you’re going to need him later in the playoffs and possibly the finals. Why not take that opportunity to address the elephant in the room. It’s obviously overblown because he performs at a high level in 4th quarters and excels down the stretch. But you know it’s in his head, and you can see it in his teammates’ eyes and how the coach looks. Remember the all-star game, he was interviewed immediately after passing up a shot that resulted in a turnover.
This isn’t debating who the closer is, that’s simple and you can’t make them all. And most understand the intention: sweep the Knicks and wait for the next opponent. It would set the tone and send a message to the rest of the league, as well as themselves. Well, I guess you just have to wait and see how the story unfolds for the Miami Heat because, there’s still a ways to go for the conclusion.