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As I stated before, in order to be a clutch player you need to emit confidence. Also, you need to be consistent in those types of situation. I recognize that LeBron James was unbelievable in the Heat's series against Boston and Chicago, but you have to maintain that consistency in order to be labeled as a reliable player in those situations.
Let's start off with the obvious by saying that those who resent James because of his inability to consistently perform in that situation are ridiculous. You've never been in that situation and you most likely never will be. When you have 20,000 people breathing down your neck, millions viewing on TV and listening on radio, and you're going against a defense that's going to be playing the toughest defense they've played all night, you might shy away from those types of predicaments.
Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, James seems to be the type of player that doesn't embrace being that go-to guy in the clutch. There are other elite players who love being in that situation and dream of the day where they can win a game for their team via a game winning shot, but there are also those who can't stand to be in their own shoes when the clock is waning and the game is close.
You need to have the right mentality going into these situations. The first 36 minutes are purely a physical game. You can play as dumb as you want to for those first three quarters and still find yourself in a game, but if you continue to play that way in the fourth quarter, it will catch up to you. Those final 12 minutes are meant for the strong mental players to thrive in, and that's why you see guys like Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant thriving and aching for those last shots.
Clutch players are so secure with themselves and their ability to play that they don't worry about failing. Do you think Wade, Bryant, or Paul Pierce have the ball in their hands and think about the consequences of missing? Absolutely not. Those three players all stand by the firm belief that they're going to get their best shot of the night off and it's going to win them the game.
LeBron James needs to have that mentality. He can't think about failing and risk being made fun of the next day. He has to embrace that type of situation. When the Heat are down by a point and they're in a huddle discussing the next play, LeBron needs to be the player that says give me the ball.
Even if he misses it, the most important thing that matters is that he believed he took a good shot and that he'll make the next one.
Bryant may have a poor shooting percentage in the clutch, but that has yet to deter him from taking each and every shot in those moments. LeBron needs to have that Kobe mentality. You're going to miss some shots, but that doesn't mean it's the end of the world, because there's still another day to make it right. If you don't believe in yourself, then what gives anyone else the right to believe in you?
LeBron can be that guy. We've seen him do it before. He just needs to make basketball more than a physical game.