Hey LeBron, don't hide, be Hyde!

LeBron James was true to his word and game 4 saw the best player on earth reaffirm that infinitely grand title by following through on the brilliantly understated promise of being ‘much better ‘.

In the Heat’s road win over the Spurs, James’s stat line (33pts, 11 boards, 4 dimes, 2 steals and 2 blocks) stood out like a beacon of truth, shaming the all too real lie that he told in game 3.

But if the tone of Miami’s 2013 playoff run continues in the same key, it’s the turn of mere adequate LeBron to reappear from the devastatingly long shadow that was cast by unstoppable LeBron of game 4.

There has been much talk of James’ Jekyll and Hyde type performances over the past few games.
Inconsistency and a willingness to settle for 18 foot jumpers before game 4 had reminded everyone of that unfortunate and baffling finals performance of 2011.

LeBron’s ‘worst’ performance in these finals thus far came in the game 3 blow out loss where James had 15-11-5-2, passable enough numbers for any ordinary player.

But of course LeBron aint no ordinary player, and these numbers were jumped on as signs of a failing superstar unable to carry his teammates to victory.

The points came on 7-21 from the field and did not include a single free throw, more polite Dr Jekyll than angry Mr Hyde and very un-James like.

These criticisms maybe warranted but it also fails to pay due respect to the stifling defence played by the Spurs, personified by Danny Green and his impersonations of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.

Thou shalt not pass indeed!

Unfortunately for San Antonio they were so effective in shutting down the Heat’s big 3 in game 3 that it seemed the catalyst Miami needed to unleash a devastating game 4 vengeance.

Much like the Ghostbusters warned, if you shut it down you may not like what emerges.

James was down right vicious.

The Heat don’t need good LeBron in the style of a morally sound, merely effective Dr Jekyll from Louis Stevenson’s 19th century tale of split personality.

The Heat needs a stat stuffing, all court monster angry at what has gone on before and desperate to make someone pay.

Mr Hyde in a Heat jersey.

LeBron did that in Game 4 and has now vowed to Hyde up again in game 5 by stating ‘enough is enough’ – it’s time for King James’ merry men to once again win back to back games in this see sawing Miami Heat post season.

To do this he will need Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade to again answer the call.

In game 4 Bosh was the player the Heat constantly need him to be, spacing a well drilled Spurs defence and bringing his more than capable yet often mysteriously missing defensive skills to the fore.

Wade also stepped out of his bizarre funk.

We don’t know what the issue was with Wade’s form over the first three games of this finals series, but its safe to say that if he reproduces his Game 4 heroics of 32 pts 6 steals 6 boards and 4 assists, the Heat will be harder to beat than a concrete piƱata.

But there in lies the challenge for coach Spoelstra and his side.

The Heat have not won back to back games since their second round series against a depleted Chicago Bulls. And for a team that recorded a franchise record 27 straight regular season wins the up and down nature of this recent stint must be nauseating.

A lot is being made of the must win situation that the Spurs find themselves in going into today’s game 5. And its true, heading back to Miami having to win both road games to secure the title seems unlikely even for such a storied fight filled franchise.

But based on the pattern of the Heat’s recent post-season play the same ‘must win’ pressure could also be weighing heavily on Miami.

This makes LeBron’s split basketballing personalities and the performances of his fellow big three members even more vital, and today’s game all the more intriguing.

No comments:

Post a Comment