Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due, I’m starting with the team that won the title – not the team that lost it. Heat forward Chris Bosh cut right to the chase saying “they wanted it more than we did” Right! They wanted it more than Lebron did because nobody else on the Heat was coasting – more about that later on in this rant. The Mavericks are certainly not more talented but they are better and they are tougher and they are more resilient – I have to admit, half way through that 1st quarter I was thinking “blow out to Miami” I thought it was the ultimate trap game for Dallas because they knew they had 2 games to win 1.
When James hit his first 4 shots and Miami went up 9, I thought “this game is over” but then I remembered, this is Dallas – it’s never over with these guys, they never quit and they always have one more run in them and they did last night – even with Dirk Nowitzki struggling and Tyson Chandler getting into early foul trouble. As tough a night as Dirk had shooting it, it only added to his lore – you know how tough you have to be mentally and physically to finish with 21 points in that barn against those guys, in a close out game, when you start the night 1 for 12? Not easy to hit the shots he hit late, after missing all the shots he did in the 1st half and if he doesn’t hit those shots – they don’t win it!
This is the same guy who was branded “soft” and incapable of leading anybody, anywhere! He heard it and he went to work. Now, I’m not talking over one summer, I’m talking about over several years and he worked on his weaknesses and not his strengths and so he had what it took to put his team on his back and imposed his will on the other guys, so who’s “soft” now? Not this guy! And never again.
But as great as Dirk was, they don’t win this thing without his wingman, Jason Terry. Just when it looked like the Mavs might go down because Dirk was doing most of the heavy lifting and there was no option #2, the “Jet” picks the big fella up. Especially last night, when Dirk couldn’t buy one because it’s amazing how Terry was able to re-write, both his and Lebron’s legacies in the last 3 games alone. The “Jet” was grounded for the 1st 3 games, it didn’t look good and neither did he. Remember, this was the guy who inked a trophy on his bicep and early in the series he was doing nothing to back that braising move up! And on top of that, he then had the stones to start bumping his gums and take a shot at Lebron – it looked like the “Jet” had lost his mind, instead he was just getting into Lebron’s and he was right!
Lebron couldn’t guard him for 7 games, couldn’t even guard him for 6 – and for reasons only Erik Spoelstra knows, Lebron wasn’t even on him, when the “Jet” was killing them last night. Terry knew somebody had to step up and do something when Dirk was struggling, so he did it himself. So once again, let’s make sure this rant starts with the team that won it – not the team that lost it. America’s team won and America’s nightmare did not come to fruition.
Now, let’s rant about how the Heat lost this series and how it happened! Look no further than Game 2 – the Heat went up by 15 points with 7 minutes to go, you finish that game, you go up 2 games to none and this series is probably over, close the Mavs out right there and they’re probably not winning 4 of the next 5 games. Not if the Heat can beat them the way they should and Lebron stays aggressive – instead they start to celebrate something they hadn’t yet won, they stopped playing and it came back to bite them in the back! Miami could’ve won that series right there, but instead, that’s where they lost it because they didn’t have character or the discipline to finish nor did they have the respect for Dallas that they should’ve had. Like, what were they thinking? Didn’t they see the way the Mavs came back on Portland, LA and OKC? Then again, hard to respect the other guy, when you too busy loving yourself!
Lebron is taking plenty of shots today and rightfully so, you cannot announce your decision on live TV, nor call yourself “The King” nor hit your back with the “Chosen One” ink and begin the season by saying “not 1, not 2…not 6 and not 7” and then shrink and disappear at “Go” time! Yet that’s exactly what he did in the Finals – and it’s not the first time it’s happened. When the stakes were highest and they needed him the most, he shut it down – he was nowhere to be found in the 4th quarter of these games. In short right now, he’s a frontrunner. When things are going well, he’s all in and attacking from the front, but when things go badly, he is nowhere to be found – that’s not the cat you want in your foxhole. Last night is a perfect example, he rolls out aggressively by hitting his first 4 shots and it’s all good. Then he misses his next 3, commits a couple of turnovers and his night is effectively over – that’s probably why Erik Spoelstra kept bringing up “mental stability” because Lebron wasn’t showing very much and his teammates know it.
When asked how he thought Lebron played, Chris Bosh said “The guy tries” yeah, not exactly having your teammates back – that’s coming from a guy who said early this season that “they just want to chill” a guy who admitted that he was intimidated by the moment in the Boston series and a guy who was seen crying in defeat last night. You know, every other coach in the NBA was taking mental notes on how to get Lebron to the point where he just shuts down. Make no mistake – he did just shut down.
Question is though, will he man up and look in the mirror and own that he’s the biggest reason they lost that series? I doubt it; the guy never really owns anything come to think of it. Not the televisied “Decision” not the pre-season celebration nor how they that series – he doesn’t think he or they did anything wrong. He thinks they played well enough to win and that this was the best that he could muster. “I work hard to try to put myself in position to play at a high level, you know, when you go out on the court – does the ball always go in? Absolutely not”
Right Lebron, but the shots you don’t take absolutely never go in…King! This cat is gonna have to do some serious soul searching because what he’s doing isn’t working – I’m just not sure if he’s introspective enough or honest enough with himself to own it and make the changes he has to make. Sorta like Tiger Woods in that regard – where he has too many people telling him what he wants to hear and not enough telling him what he needs to hear. Too many people telling him how great he is and that it’s not his fault and not enough people saying “this year is a failure and a lot of this is on you Lebron” Question is though, who is going to tell him? Because he needs to hear it – and he’s clearly not going to come to that conclusion on his own and this is why the comparisons to MJ or even Kobe are so ridiculous. Lebron doesn’t live and die with what happened on the court, like those guys do, he’s just happy being a global icon and has no idea whatsoever why people dislike him.
Take that bite that he made about the fans, when asked him why he felt or how he felt about the haters coming so hard for him “All those people who are rooting on me to fail, they gonna wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They got the same personal problems they had today …you know? And I’m going to continue to live the way I wanna live and continue to do the things that I wanna do. Me and my family and be happy with that, so they can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be, on being happy not only about myself but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but you gotta get back to the real world at some point!”
Translation: “I’m rich and famous and you’re not losers, now go back to flipping burgers” Now, there probably are some people with some pretty crummy lives reveling on him coming up so short on the big stage – but what he doesn’t get is there are plenty of other people who have fantastic lives that are enjoying this just as much. This is about “whether you have a problem with Lebron you have a problem with you self” I can see why people have a problem with him – both people with crummy lives and great lives. Personally, I do not have a problem with what he said there, he was asked a question and he answered it, but in answering it the way he did, he has to know that these very same people will be coming even harder for him next time. You can’t put out a fire with a gas can – and from the looks of things, that black hat is never coming off his head!