LeBron James' Game 4 Performance Shows That He Is the Best Player in the NBA

Ryan BothmannSenior Analyst IIMay 20, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MAY 15: LeBron James #6 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat high-five during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Simply put, LeBron James dominated Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers. Scoring, rebounding, passing, defending, whatever it was, LeBron excelled at it on Sunday, and he once again showed us why he is without a doubt the best player in the NBA.

James scored a game-high 40 points, recorded a game-high 18 rebounds and dished out a game-high nine assists. He was the best player on the court at everything, and it was exactly the performance that the Miami Heat needed from the league MVP.

With all the questions and controversy surrounding Miami after they were routed by the Pacers in Game 3, James, along with counterpart Dwyane Wade, drew much criticism for their inability to step up in the big moment.

For James, it was nothing new. Many people have labeled him as a "choker" throughout his career, indicating that he plays extremely well most of the time, but when the time to take the big shot comes, he shies away and does not deliver for his team. Many writers, analysts and fans indicated that Sunday's Game 4 would be one of the biggest games of LeBron's career so far. They wanted to see if he could step up and carry a team to victory, like he did numerous times when he played with the Cavaliers.

They wanted to see if he was worthy of his MVP label.

He certainly showed us that he was.

Game 4 on Sunday,was arguably one of the best performances of LeBron's career. With the spotlight of the NBA world solely focused on him, LeBron James delivered time after time on Sunday afternoon.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat dunks against the Indiana Pacers on his way to a game-high 40 points in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 20, 2012 in Ind
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

LeBron's 40 points were the most he put up in a playoff game since he did it against the Chicago Bulls in 2010, when he was still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His 18 rebounds were the most he had put up in a game since he tallied 19 boards in his final game as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His nine assists were also huge because it allowed players like Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem to find open, easy looks at the basket that allowed them to get hot from the field as well.

LeBron consistently challenged the Indiana defenders throughout the game, and he continuously  showed that it is nearly impossible for any player in the league to defend him one-on-one.

His defense was also off the charts. As he always does, James played lockdown defense on the other side of the ball. He once again showed his rare ability to be able to guard every player on the court.

Dominant only begins to describe LeBron's Game 4 performance on Sunday.

When the world was watching to see if the MVP could finally step up and carry the Miami Heat on his back, LeBron James delivered. Without his MVP-caliber day, the Heat would likely be facing elimination now, but because of James, they are right back even at 2-2 with the Indiana Pacers.

On Sunday, LeBron James showed us why, without a doubt, he is the best player in the NBA and that when he is on the court, the Miami Heat can take down any team in the league.