10 Reasons LeBron James Won't Choke in NBA Playoffs This Year
With the Miami Heat advancing to the second round, LeBron James is one step closer to obtaining his first championship ring. So far, so good for the King after successfully leading the charge against a star-studded New York Knicks squad.
However, Round 1 is only the beginning of a long journey and quest for a NBA title.
We have all heard the jokes about how James chokes when the lights shine brightest, yet he has shown no fear and only elevated his game when his services were needed most in this year's playoffs.
That being said, many people are sitting back and waiting for "Lechoke" to surface once again. Well, I've got 10 reasons LeBron will end up with not only the last laugh, but also with his first NBA championship.
He's the No. 1 Option
It's crazy to think we're having a debate on whether or not a 6'8" small forward with the court vision like a point guard and power like a center should be the No. 1 option on offense. Yet, that's what happens when three very talented players decide to play together.
However, this argument has finally been put to rest, and LeBron has established himself as one of the most efficient and versatile scorers in the league.
Although he may not always have the ball in his hands with 10 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter, for the entirety of the game, LeBron James is without a doubt the first option for the Miami Heat.
Many argue that the offense should run through Bosh, but what I have to say to those people is LeBron is more of a power forward than Bosh will ever be. Not a knock on Bosh's game, just a testament to how good this guy James really is.
There's no reason LeBron should not be the first option on any team he plays on, and now that he's on the Miami Heat, he will continue to thrive and dominate no matter who he's matched up against.
I know I'm not the only one out there who believes LeBron got cheated as far as defensive player of the year goes. I mean, he has literally guarded every position this year. Is there another player in the NBA who can do that with the efficiency that James did?
That being said, LeBron's defensive intensity will pay off in the long run, even if it doesn't come in the form of an NBA Defensive Player of the Year trophy.
LeBron's defense, often times on the opponent's best player, results in easy buckets for his team on the other end, but most importantly, for King James himself. It keeps him involved and focused on the game and allows him to really develop a flow and feel for the game very early on.
The fact that he's willing to get it done on both ends of the floor is impressive in itself, and it looks as though he will continue playing the lockdown defense we have seen all year, throughout the playoffs.
We've all heard the cliche, defense wins championships. Well, LeBron is one of the top defenders in the league, and even when he's not getting it done on the offensive end, which is rare, you can now always count on his defense.
No Longer the Villain
Finally, we're back to watching the LeBron James play whom we all grew to came to love and enjoy during his time in Cleveland.
James is no villain, as much as the media wants him to be. He's a guy who's a great basketball player and loves to play it almost as much as we love to watch him. It just didn't look right when James would attempt to channel his inner-villain last year and shoot the crowd an evil look or not crack a smile at any point during the game. That's not the LeBron we knew.
But he's back—unfortunate for every other team in the NBA—besides the Heat of course. He's back to having a good time out there on the floor and playing with nothing to prove. Let's be real, what does James have to prove? That he can win a championship? Let us not forget that, at this point in Jordan's career, he had no ring either. Ring, or no ring, James is one of the best talents the NBA has and will ever see.
With LeBron stepping out of the villain role, the Heat became instantaneously better. Some players thrive off hate, like Kobe Bryant. While others, like LeBron James, play much worse when playing to prove others wrong, rather than playing for their coaches and teammates.
A true example of be careful what you ask for. For years and years, people demanded that James get in the gym and work on his post game. Well, James listened to those echoing demands and did just that.
Now, it's very rare to see a Heat possession where either James, or Wade, does not get a touch in the post.
LeBron's post game is now arguably one of the top in the league. It's virtually unstoppable and serves as yet another weapon in the crunch.
With LeBron's ability to see over and throw out of a double-team when the Heat need a bucket moving forward, I would expect to see James in the post more and more, and whether he's making the shot or making the play, it really can't turn out too bad for the Heat.
On a Mission
Honest question, is there anyone who can stop LeBron right now?
It's clear, he's on a mission. A mission for what? A mission to achieve greatness. A mission to win it all. A mission to finish as one of the best to ever play the game.
We are all a witness to a once-in-a-generation type of a player, and I think sometimes we forget it, but that's not the point. The point is this: I don't think there's anybody or any team that LeBron will allow to get in the way of him and a ring this year.
Needless to say, I could be wrong, but I look into LeBron's eyes and see the intensity and passion. To me, he looks like a player who refuses to be beat.
Natural Born Leader
LeBron is a natural-born leader. You don't win an MVP award, or two, or three, without being just that.
Now that he has been given the reigns to this talented team, the sky's the limit. He's got the talent, the attitude and the work ethic to take this team to the top, and I believe he will do just that.
The common consensus is that, for the Heat to win it all, LeBron has to be the best player on the court, and of course, a leader. He's been doing just that.
He's Paid His Dues
I mean come on, hasn't LeBron suffered enough? He's clearly paid his dues. I'm not saying there aren't NBA players, past, present or future, who have paid their fair share of dues and don't get a ring, but has or will anyone really go through what LeBron has throughout his career?
Hailed as a high school phenom, James has been in the spotlight since he's entered the league, and with being drafted to your hometown comes a whole new level of pressure.
Can we blame this guy for leaving after begging for help in Cleveland for years with Mo Williams serving as his Robin? No, it's not fair. Maybe he didn't do the right way, but he has the right to make his own decisions and put himself in the best position he sees fit.
After being one of the NBA fan's favorite players for years, he was cast as a villain only a year later and booed worldwide.
Now, LeBron is finally figuring who he is again and what he stands for, and as a result, is closer than ever to achieving his lifelong dream of winning an NBA title. Come on, cut him some slack. I think it's about time James gets what he's had coming for a long time.
Ready to Silence the Credits and Prove He's One of the Greatest of All Time
LeBron is not only one of, if not, the best players in the league today, but also of all time.
Whether or not he gets a ring will not change the fact that we will not see another player like him for a very, very long time.
He's a created player on paper, and now, it's time for him to prove he's got the heart to get the job done. He's ready to silence the critics. He's ready to prove he's one of the greatest of all times. He's ready to cement his name in the history books of the NBA.
It's Now or Never
If LeBron thinks he's been in the media a lot during his career thus far, let's just take a second to imagine what the poor guy would have to endure if the Heat were to fall short once again.
It's now or never for James and the Heat. The path will not get any easier in the following years, and if they don't get it done this year, I think it's safe to say that this big-three experiment was a failure.
That's a lot of pressure, but nothing LeBron can't handle and won't thrive off of moving forward. This is no time to crumble, and LeBron will not.
Getting a Chance to Play His Natural Born Position
At the end of the day, LeBron James is a point guard. He loves to get his teammates open looks and is blessed with some of the most amazing court vision known to mankind.
We love to compare James to Jordan, but in reality, he's more like Magic, and the sooner everyone takes a step back and realizes that, the easier it will be to accept LeBron James for what he is—a very physically gifted point guard.
Now that Spoelstra is continuously using a lineup with LeBron at the point, he's getting a chance to thrive at the position he's most fitted for. Most importantly, the lineup that often times closes games for the Heat has James at the point and puts him in a position to make plays.
He will continue to make these plays as the playoffs push on.