The Incredible Shrinking LeBron!!!

Posted: June 10, 2011 in NBA
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The 2011 NBA Finals is now tied at 2 games apiece. The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are putting on a great show for all the fans. Every game seems to come down to the last possession, making for great theater. Some people are even asking if this is the best Finals in the last decade.

But the real question on everybody’s mind is; “Where is LeBron James?”

It was only a few weeks ago that Scottie Pippen was saying he is a better player than Michael Jordan and now people are ready to put his face on the back of a milk carton.

On the biggest stage of his career LeBron has come up small. After playing 46 minutes and only scoring eight points in Game 4 of the Finals people are beginning to wonder if he has what it takes to be a true champion.

To be fair, James has had great playoffs so far. After dominating late in games against the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls people were beginning to talk about how clutch LeBron had become. It seemed like he was finally ready to be crowned “King James.”  But something funny happened on the way to the coronation. Namely, LeBron stopped playing. At least in the fourth quarter of the Finals. So far in the first four games of the Finals LeBron has a combined 12 fourth quarter points. Those numbers are certainly not Jordanesque.

The one player in this series who has earned the right to be compared to Jordan has been Dwayne Wade. He has been dominant in the fourth quarter and has carried the Heat throughout the Finals. He’s been the one closing out games while LeBron fades into the backdrop.

Fans and media alike are starting to bring up Game 5 against the Boston Celtics from last year’s playoffs. It was widely believed that LeBron, then with the Cleveland Cavaliers, simply gave up during that game and used it as an excuse to leave Cleveland. People may now look at that as just another example of LeBron not being able to handle the pressure of a big game.

He came to Miami to win a championship and he very well may do it this year. The Heat still have a great chance to win this series. Two of the last three games will be played in Miami. But what happens if LeBron continues to play poorly and still get a ring? Will he be happy to be playing the Scottie Pippen role instead of the Michael Jordan role?

It will be interesting to see if the Heat can win a championship not because of LeBron but in spite of him.


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