The Heat now trail the San Antonio Spurs three games to two in a best-of-seven series. That means if Miami loses one more game, it's all over.
But based on James' sub-standard play in this series -- he is averaging far less than the 30 points or so a game that we have come to expect -- that may seem improbable.
Yes, James is unquestionably the best hoops player on the planet but he is also capable of seeming to sulk on the court when the referees don't see things his way and his teammates don't bury jump shots off his precision passes.
James has to prove that he, like Michael Jordan always appeared to do in the clutch, can elevate his game beyond what we expect.
Pro basketball IS show biz -- and we want more and more from James.. It's not fair but that's life in the $20-million fast lane of big-time sports.
James has been a big bust so far n the NBA Finals. Little-known Spurs sharpshooter Danny Green has eclipsed James in terms of coming up big in the cauldron of the championship round.
James arrived in Maimiamid the fanfare of his ill-advised televised The Deciison on ESPN, when he turned his back on his hometown Cleveland team to move to the sunbelt and take his talents to South Beach, as he foolishly pointed out, adding insult to injury.
I still believe James will turn it around this week and lead the Heat to its second consecutive title. The team has to relax and get back to playing pressure defense and a wideopen running style of offense. Playing the remainder of the series at home in, uh, South Beach will help the players focus before their adoring hometown throng.
But James may remain a puzzle. Why can't the best player in the world dominate the game in the NBA Finals, as he did during the regular season?
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