For a while last night I had to wonder if my question to LeBron fell on deaf ears.
There he was settling for only 5 field goal attempts in the first half.
There Miami was, not running any plays for him or looking get him the ball in the post.
Was it a surprise that Boston mounted a 7 point halftime lead?
But then it all changed in the second half and things started to click for Miami.
And perhaps LeBron was able to have his cake and eat it too.
After his game 6 maestro I asked LeBron how essential it was for him too continuously shoot - even if over 2-3 defenders. He responded, first with a laugh, then by saying that this is a team game and he will continue to look for his teammates and have confidence that they will make shots.
Well, that confidence was rewarded last night. Up 1 point at a critical juncture in the 4th last night, LeBron found Chris Bosh open in the corner after being double teamed - and Bosh came through:
But, let's be real about it. Beyond getting some much needed help. This was LeBron's show and he decided to take 16 shots in the second half. Including this one, which came right after the Bosh three:
It also helped that Wade contributed 23 points (5 rebounds and 6 assists). In fact, the Miami big three accounted for all 28 points in the 4th quarter - 73 total points for the game. And that's the way it has to be for the Heat to be successful. LeBron has to lead and has to shoot - a lot. He has to constantly attack and put presure on the defense, not as a facilitator, but as a scorer (he only had 2 assists last night - but so what?). And at the same time Wade and Bosh are great enough to still get their points - as they did last night. Let's be clear, LeBron didn't join Miami to become a role player for Wade and Bosh. He joined Miami so his role players were Wade and Bosh. There is a big difference. And the later is the only way Miami can win at the highest level.
And here we are, a year after their short comings in the Finals last year, the Heat are right back where they want to be - or rather where they need to be - with an opportunity to make amends for their mishaps.
However, this time things are quite a bit different:
Last year as you might recall, Miami breezed through the eastern conference and thus were not prepared for Dallas to push back and challenge them in the Finals. This year the Heat have met and overcome all sorts of challenges on their run - from Losing Bosh against Indiana and subsequently falling behind 1-2 and having to win game 4 on the road to tie the series. To meeting a tough Boston team that pushed them to the brink of elimination and forced them to win a game 6 on the road and come from behind to win game 7 last night. Dare I say that the Heat are better prepared this time around? LeBron in particular?
Additionally, while the Heat were overwhelming favorites in the Finals a year ago - they must surely be the underdogs this time around - facing a deeper, younger, bigger, and dare I say more talented/athletic Thunder team. Perhaps this will also better serve Miami towards reaching their ultimate goal.
Either way. The Heat have seemed to coalesce around each other at the perfect time and have found ways to win. They have found ways to survive. What's up next will perhaps be their biggest challenge. But for now, they are probably just happy to know they have another chance. And they must be reassured to know that no matter who they face, when the going gets rough, they have each other......and they have LeBron James.
That is surly a cause for celebration:
There are so many things right with this video.
And you know what? Every NBA fan should be doing their own sort of dance as well. Because with the Heat squaring off against the Thunder in the Finals - now the real fun begins!!!!!!