Miami Heat

How LeBron James Will Ensure Miami Heat as Repeating Champions

MIAMI, FL - MAY 24: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a free throw attempt in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 24, 2013 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
Sam RichmondCorrespondent IMay 26, 2013

Miami Heat forward LeBron James has been spectacular throughout the 2013 NBA playoffs. He's the best player in the NBA and has played every bit like it.

And even though the Heat are looking a bit vulnerable right now after dropping Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, these playoffs are going to end with Miami hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

That's because of James.

The Heat's supporting cast hasn't played to its potential this postseason. Among Heat rotation players, excluding James, only Norris Cole and Chris Andersen have played to at least their regular-season levels. 

Yet, even with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh both averaging less than 14 points per game and Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier (and Ray Allen since the first round) shooting below 30 percent from beyond the arc, the Heat are 8-2.

That's because of James. 

He does everything. Along with being Miami's top defender, he's leading the Heat in points, rebounds and assists this postseason. But that shouldn't be a surprise. He did all of that in the regular season too.

What's even more impressive about LeBron: As the stakes and competition have become greater, so has James' game.

In the first two games of the conference finals against statistically the best defense in the NBA this season, the Indiana Pacers, LeBron has averaged 33.0 points on 59.0 percent shooting and 6.5 assists, along with 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.

At this point in his career, a team can beat a King James-led team like that once, maybe even a couple of times, in a series, but not four times in seven games.

In fact, it's taken the last 50 games for the Heat to lose four times. That's right. Miami has won 46 of its previous 50 games. 

That's because of James.

Something that resurfaced this week was Michael Jordan's scouting report on LeBron that he gave to ESPN's Wright Thompson back in February.

The gist of his report was that it's better to force LeBron to his left rather than letting him drive right.

But that's an outdated report, as evidenced by James actually being the most efficient player in the league when driving left, per ESPN's Tom Haberstroh.

LeBron also proved Jordan's report wrong with his buzzer-beater in Game 1 of the conference finals.

I bring this up because you really can't stop LeBron at this point. There's no need for a scouting report.

He will beat you going left. He will beat you going right. Play off of him and give him an open look from three? He's knocking it down. His mid-range game is excellent. No one's better at finishing at the rim than James.

Give him too much attention and he'll find the open man. 

The Pacers will give the Heat a run for their money. But they can't overcome the player I just described four times.

No one can.

For the second year in a row, this is the Heat's year.

And for the second year in a row, that will be because of James.

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