Lebron James did it all in Game 5. He scored 30 points as Miami took over in the third quarter. There’s no stopping James’ quest for his second NBA title. What stops him? Lebron James. Whatever shots he makes and misses and decisions he makes in his head determines how the outcome of a basketball game goes. He got no help from his teammate Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh or Mario Chalmers. Udonis Haslem contributed 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and had a good game. In the end, I think what determines a Heat victory or loss stays on Lebron James’ shoulders.
1. Expect another tough physical battle between David West and Lebron James and Roy Hibbert and Dwyane Wade and Lance Stephenson.
2. Expect three-point shooters for Miami to get wide open so Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and co. can knock them down.
3. See that Lebron James and Dwyane Wade run their patent fast break.
4. See that the Pacers do not turn the basketball over and play smart defense.
The Indiana Pacers gave the Miami Heat a beating last night. I didn’t watch the whole game fortunately, because I didn’t want to expect to see Lebron James give out an awesome performance. It turns out that the Indiana Pacers kept charging at Lebron James and made him pick up six fouls and James fouled out of the game. The Pacers win this game 99-92 because they did not get rattled when Miami made their scoring runs. The Pacers expected the Miami Heat to get their points in spurts and it showed. Indiana made sure they would stand the scoring runs made by Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat and absorbed the hit. Then Pacers coach Frank Vogel had his Pacers squad slowly build up their lead again until all 48 minutes were run out. It is a smart strategic play on Frank Vogel’s part because Erik Spoelstra doesn’t know what to expect from playing with a balanced and scoring Indiana Pacers team. Sometimes I wonder if Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows its five-on-five basketball. With a star studded cast with Dwyane Wade and Lebron James and Chris Bosh scoring all the major goodies, you have to wonder, how are the other supporting role players contributing to the Miami offense and on defense. How is Miami defending the titan 7-2 giant Roy Hibbert and Lebron James expanding energy to chase down Paul George and Dwyane Wade running on defense against Lance Stephenson? Miami started the game slowly and they let up. They let the Pacers have the first go at scoring. The Heat didn’t score first. Starting game 5, the Miami Heat must get their scoring up in order to win the game. They must start the game with defense, because when Lebron James gets up and down the court with those chase-down blocks and Wade does the same with steals, the Heat are unstoppable. Ray Allen gets open looks at the basket, Shane Battier will be able to make perimter shots, and so does Mario Chalmers. We haven’t seen a Miami onslaught since Game 3 when the Heat won the game 114-96.
I have to say, the series is far closer than it is 2-2. I think the Pacers have a slight upper hand at this series, than the Miami Heat do, because the Pacers have a bench mob that is able to defend Ray Allen consistently and making sure that the Heat shooters like Mike Miller, James Jones, and Rashard Lewis do not get open looks consistently all night. Except for Games 1, 2, and 4, the Heat broke out with a flurry of three pointers in a convincing win in Game 3. Paul George uncharacteristically showed he was angry after a foul he made in the third quarter. The Pacers want this game. Indiana wants Miami to know that they are for real. Now, the Pacers have the Heat’s number. Can Miami answer the call in Game 5?
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the number one pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Who will they pick? I haven’t been keeping track of the NBA draft prospects, but I am excited to learn who will go first. They will need to pick a player who will learn how to play with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Tristan Thompson, because they are all young and willing to learn how to master the craft of playing basketball.
Tim Duncan is on his way to getting his 5th NBA title. What gives? Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are helping Duncan get his fifth NBA ring. He is 37 years old and has a college degree in psychology at Wake Forest and has accumulated several NBA titles. He is quite accomplished. Duncan is a smart man who knows how to play basketball and lessen his mistakes on the court, because he knows his limitations and knows how to use his limitations to his advantage whenever he can.
Lebron James is on his way to his second NBA title, if only he can win against these pesky Indiana Pacers two more times. He has done everything humanly possible to solve the Miami Heat’s troubles, because he is a gifted basketball player on the cusp of greatness. He can play all five NBA positions and with a player who has a natural gift for the game of basketball, he will certainly be a Hall of Famer one day.
The San Antonio Spurs sweep the Memphis Grizzlies in four games. They didn’t let up as the Spurs didn’t give the Grizzlies a chance to succeed against playing these Spurs. Tony Parker exploited every single opportunity the Grizzlies let San Antonio do, because they weren’t expecting the San Antonio Spurs to do. Parker had his way with Memphis as he got in the paint and found his teammates for perimeter shots. There was nothing Memphis could do to stop San Antonio and Tony Parker was the reason why. Putting Tony Allen on Parker couldn’t stop Parker from getting his points or halting the Spurs attack. Mike Conley and Allen were repeatedly put through double screens set by Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, and Tim Duncan and that got Conley committing a silly foul on Tim Duncan fighting through a screen. With that being said and done, the Spurs got inside the Memphis Grizzles’ head and found a way to contain Zach Randolph’s inside play and Marc Gasol’s effective perimeter game. The Spurs found weaknesses and flaws in Memphis’ game plan and it showed. San Antonio exploited it and they made sure of it.
The Heat went back to their game of fast break basketball with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade passing the ball to each other. The Heat are the victors of Game 3, because they imposed their will and presence over the Indiana Pacers and they made their perimeter shots and Chris Bosh and all the Heat role players like Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, and Ray Allen hit down open shots in transition. When all was said and done, the Pacers were unable to comply with the Miami offense, because the Heat were hitting on all cylinders. The Heat defense was subpar at best, because they rely on Lebron James and Dwyane Wade’s athleticism and speed to help them generate steals and blocks.
From now on, I will post video links with commentary written by me.