The Dallas Mavericks won Game 5 Thursday night, which means possibly two more games remain in the NBA Finals.
But just about everyone continues to ask: What’s wrong with LeBron James?
Social media is buzzing with rumors that LeBron can’t concentrate because of trouble at home. Hoop experts say he’s playing too many minutes and doesn’t have the energy to be an effective closer as the game winds down. And again, he didn’t have many baskets when it mattered—only two points in the fourth quarter.
These are issues for sure, but enough already. What about Dallas?
Yes, it’s legitimate to wonder about LeBron’s state of mind or his physical well-being, but it suggests the other guys on the court don’t matter much. Well, if you are paying attention at all, you have to admit that Dallas may be largely responsible for LeBron’s less-than-stellar performance.
In fact, Thursday night, LeBron had one of the most ineffective triple-doubles I’ve ever seen.
The Mavericks proved in Game 5 that they did not get to the Finals by chance. They’ve got good players, too, and not all of them are named Dirk Nowitzki.
Jason “The Jet” Terry finally found his shooting rhythm, bombing eight huge points in the closing minutes. Tiny guard J.J. Barea again sliced and diced his way through defenders, but this time his shots didn’t bounce off the rim, they went in. And the aging Jason Kidd nailed several key three-pointers as well.
Dirk, by the way, finished with another great game—29 points, including a ridiculously beautiful rainbow three-pointer that took forever to swish down through the nets.
No, I’m not saying that Dallas is definitely going to win Game 6 or even Game 7, if it goes that far. But the point I am trying to make is that all of us need to get over this obsession we have with the “disappearance” of LeBron James and finally give Dallas credit for playing like a complete, and perhaps better team.