It is hard not to be amazed when you watch LeBron James. There is so much power, grace and speed that it is hard to figure how that combination could find itself in one player. We have seen it now for a decade in the NBA and it is still amazing.
When you hear Erik Spoelstra claim that the Heat did not run a play for James for much of the game, opting to try to get other players going, adds to the amazing feats LeBron is capable of. He can find himself in any offensive scheme. And it certainly helps when the other team misses shots and turns the ball over to create fast-break opportunities.
James scored 32 points to go with 10 rebounds and five assists, a solid effort for a guy that was not the central focus of the offense. He did that hitting incredibly difficult shots through contact and over defenders. It was a “what are we supposed to do with him” performance.
The Pacers have to figure that out. A 102-90 loss at American Airlines Arena has put the top-seeded Indiana on the brink of elimination, sending Miami to its fourth straight NBA Finals.
The Heat blew the doors open on this game in the second half with a suffocating defense that forced 14 turnovers for 20 points. The Pacers shot 49.3 percent and made a strong push to get back into the game at the end, cutting it to single digits. But that was too little too late. Much like Lance Stephenson’s ill-advised verbal prodding of James before the game.
Chris Bosh helped spread the floor with 25 points, scoring 17 in the first half. Paul George had 23 points and David West had 20 points for the Pacers.
Indiana kept things close, but then the fast-breaking swarming defense of Miami proved to be too much. Then there was LeBron.