It seems that, contrary to popular belief, LeBron James is indeed human.
In the Indiana Pacers’ 97-93 win over the Miami Heat Friday night, James opened the floodgates for criticism once again.
If there is one chink in the king’s armor, it is that he is selfless to a fault. In the eye’s of LeBron, there is always a better shot. It is rare that we see a superstar so hell-bent on making the right play.
Friday night, it cost him.
He picked the wrong time to have two turnovers in the last minute of a playoff game, desperately attempting to convert passes that simply weren’t there.
That being said, I’m not putting the loss completely on him. Once again, he was brilliant, scoring 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting. Throw in his eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot and you have a typical LeBron box score.
No, the Heat didn’t lose because of LeBron. They lost because, quite simply, the Pacers are a fantastic team.
"Take nothing away from their Big Three, what they have going. But we'll take a big five any day. That's what we have."
George is absolutely on the money with his opinion. The Pacers were the epitome of a team.
All five guys in the starting lineup chipped in at least 10 points, balance in its purest form.
None, however, were bigger than Roy Hibbert (literally and figuratively). Scoring a hyper-efficient 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting, Hibbert continues to expose the biggest flaw in the defending champion’s armor: size.
Hibbert was candid with his remarks after the game, oozing confidence as he spoke.
"We're not going to back down. They could be the champs, but we're coming for them.
"A lot of us feel we should be up 2-0. They're at the top. Like I said, we're coming for them."
Hibbert is correct in his assessment. The Pacers are one defensive lapse away from being up 2-0 in the series.
As strange as it seems to say, the Heat no longer look the favorite to emerge from this war. If anything, this series is dead even, the greatness of the Heat’s stars doing battle with the greatness of the Pacers’ as a whole.
It’s a beautiful juxtaposition of styles.
At this point, this is a series that absolutely nobody has any idea how it will turn out.
In Game 1, it appeared that James’ superiority as a player would ultimately be the deciding factor between two evenly matched foes. Game 2, however, showed that the Pacers not only do not fear the King, but they have the tools to stop him.
Anyone offering predictions should simply be ignored. They don’t know how this series will play out. Neither do you, and most certainly, neither do I.
It’s time for us all to just sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s probably going to be a long one.