LeBron James has played in big games before, but nothing like the game he’s going to play in tonight.
A Game 4 win against the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat will have a commanding series lead at 3-1. If the Bulls manage to find a way to punch through the suffocating Miami Heat defense, the series goes back to tied and the Heat would have to win two out of the next three games against the No. 1 seed and without home-court advantage.
LeBron knows that this game means more than just the outcome of the series. For LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, it’s a step closer to silencing the critics and a step closer to grabbing that which has alluded him for years—an NBA championship belt.
LeBron has had a rebirth of sorts in the playoffs. Not only have his Heat started to play the kind of inspired hoops that many envisioned when the Heatles touched down in South Beach, but LeBron has also worked to shed the image that he, the greatest player in the NBA, is not a closer.
The Heat have remained humble and focused and they will need to remain so. Chicago will present a big challenge. Yet, Miami is up to the task.
They know what tonight means. They don’t intend to blow it.
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