We know that the series is now tied 2-2.
We know that Dirk Nowitzki will play through a bad finger injury with a brace, will play through with a 101 degree temperature, and we also know LeBron James is human after all.
From the Miami Herald today:
It’s not just the first time in his playoff career that LeBron has been held below 10 points. It’s the first time in 434 NBA games, regular season and playoffs included. It’s the first time overall since Jan. 5, 2007.
If he’d done this in Cleveland, sat on the weak side watching teammates do the bulk of the lifting, he would’ve been called a quitter. Given that his team was hardly getting blown out of this one – in fact, the Heat was leading by nine points with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter with LeBron playing the facilitator – it should probably just be called a once-in-a-lifetime oddity. The Halley’s Comet of LeBron James’ playoff career.
Ouch! It goes further:
But here’s where the criticism is absolutely valid in this one. If LeBron had played 44 minutes as the sidekick, the egoless point forward with all the right intentions, and then turned it on for the final four minutes, no one would’ve been concerned about the final stat line.
If LeBron James decided that, in the final few minutes with the Heat desperate for big buckets, he would switch to a scorer’s mentality and just flat-out missed, it would at least be reasonable.
But for LeBron to attempt exactly one shot in the fourth quarter when his team needed everything he had, it’s pretty much inexcusable.
So to put it mildly, LeBron is taking some HEAT (hahaha) for his poor performance no?
Look, the Dallas Mavericks are playing hard. They are huffing and puffing, running around bandaged up with a temperature of 101. These “old” guys have this series tied up at 2 games apiece. It’s going to be very interesting the way this thing ends up, but we do know that the Mavs are trying really hard in this thing. More than some players are playing right?