Posted on: June 10, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 11:41 am
 

Case of Déjà Vu for King James on Biggest Stage

We’ve seen this before you know, LeBron James faced with a game of grand magnitude only to fall short despite a glamorous stat line.

Game 6 of the 2010 East Semi Finals against Boston.

Asides from that game later becoming James’ last (he took his talents elsewhere I believe), James’ Cavaliers were trailing 3-2 in that series, trying to fight off elimination.  James recorded a triple-double with 27 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists.  Yet he was criticized by many for not really showing up, for quitting on the team.  That came from fans all the way up to Cleveland Owner Dan Gilbert.

Is it me or is that the same feeling you have about last night, if not worse?

The scene was the same, actually bigger being the NBA Finals as opposed to the Semi Finals.  It wasn’t an elimination game, but going down 3-2 is not a favorable position to be in.  This time James played in a game he self-proclaimed, “the biggest game of my life” with what he may think is the three best friends that anyone could have alongside Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  James recorded a triple-double yet again, with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Yet again I feel as if he was a no-show, at least in the fourth quarter.

Maybe I’m just not a fan of LeBron James so I tend to dwell on the negative.  Or maybe it’s the fact that LeBron James has 11 points in the five fourth quarters.  Sure he contributes elsewhere with 3 rebounds and 4 assists.  Sure he has Wade to take the onus of scoring down the stretch.  But this is supposed to be the biggest game of his life, and he managed only 2 points in the final quarter.

Sure seems like Bron Bron wilted once again.

It also didn’t help that Wade had left the game in the second quarter after a hard fall and didn’t return until late in the third quarter.  Wade was clearly struggling with the injury, giving James even more reason to take over, something he had claimed would happen earlier in the week when he promised “attack mode.”

James claimed the game was not lost on the offensive end, let’s revisit that.

James missed jump shot with 2:56 left tied 100-100.

James offensive foul with 2:27 left tied 100-100.

James missed 3-pointer with 1:52 left trailing 102-100.

James did manage to score his first and only basket with 30 seconds left and the game already decided.  Now James could unload in Game 6 and 7 leaving me to eat my words.  But I say that with much skepticism, because, well, what reason to I have to believe that he will break the trend.  In a series with three superstars bound for the Hall of Fame, Dirk Nowitzki continues to cement his legacy, Wade has only strengthened his with this series, while James’ has done nothing but continue to lessen his image in the public eye.

Could it be that the one that has no shame in endless self-promotion may be feeling the Heat (pun intended) under the brightest lights?

Perhaps, but to be fair, he has had to completely wing this, minus Jim Grey and all.

Primetime Thoughts

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:15 pm
 

The LeBronologues: Volume II

The LeBronologues are in no way, shape, or form, attacking LeBron James on the court.  The man is clearly an elite athlete who possesses talent that has never been seen before in the NBA.  That being said, James has a knack for making himself look like a knucklehead time after time, which will simply be magnified here, courtesy of yours truly, Primetime.

Miami leads 2-1 at a time when the previous 11 teams who won Game 3 with the NBA finals tied 1-1 have all gone on to win, and Bron Bron is under the microscope once again.  James contributed with 17 points, 9 assists, and 3 rebounds; certainly nothing jaw-dropping, but noteworthy nonetheless.  In this statline, however, is a glaring three shots in the fourth quarter, along with more turnovers (4) than rebounds

Superstar material?

CBSSports columnist Gregg Doyel called James’ out for his lacking effort after claiming he would go into attack mode (resulting in four free-throw attempts).  James’ fired back, claiming he was focusing on defense.

“I think you’re concentrating on one side of the floor,” James said.  “I’m a two-way player.  All you’re looking at is the stat sheet.”

Now, to James’ credit, he was making plays on the defensive end down the stretch, but for a guy so gifted to only put up three shots, while playing the entire fourth quarter, that’s nothing special.  Heck, that’s not even ordinary.

For those in defense of Bron Bron, sure, Wade had the hot hand and was dominant, as he was in Game 2, when you, the columnist, said Bron Bron was taking too many shots.  Besides, James had the mismatch against the Bulls last round and played closer.

Well, to that I say this: although he may not admit it, Wade was dealing with a bum shoulder, so naturally the onus fell onto James.  Let’s not forget he is more than capable of being “the guy,” he simply passed that up for the Robin costume. 

What exactly am I getting at you might wonder?

This is Dwayne Wade’s team. Period.

Which is fine with Bron Bron, isn’t that why he went to Miami in the first place? That being said, own up to it perhaps?

Nah man, I don’t even know what that means, to be accountable.  Remember, only after I had explicitly expressed a suggestion for the NBA to downsize from 30 to 24 teams did I claim not to know what the word contraction meant.

Right, what was I thinking.  While you were reading this, Bron Bron had been caught complaining about  a few more foul calls.

Should’ve known.

Primetime Thoughts

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 11:47 am
 

Going Gets Tough, LeBron & Heat Get Going

It had seemed to be a distant memory at this point; the Miami Heat were now closing out games.

Not so fast.

In a potentially series-shifting collapse, Miami gave away a 2-0 lead heading to Dallas after losing a 15-point lead with 7:15 remaining.  Dwayne Wade's 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run, giving the Heat an 88-73 lead.  And then it happened.

LeBron James and Wade basking in their success, prematurely celebrating with 7:15 left in the game.

Where have we seen that before?

The Heat let their guard down to a Mavericks team which has proven to be resilient in these times, just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder, who blew a 15-point lead to these same Mavs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

"We're a veteran team and we don't get too high with the highs and too low with the lows," Nowitzki said.  "The game is over when the final buzzer rings," Shawn Marion said.

On the flip side, Wade's extended follow through in front of the Dallas bench along with extensive basking on James' part may be inferred as getting ahead of themselves.

"There was no celebration at all," James said. "I was excited about the fact that he hit a big shot and we went up 15."

Maybe not, but as we've learned, James' perception and the rest of society don't tend to match up.

Celebration or not, Miami threw away a golden opportunity to take control of this series, and look no further than Bron Bron.  Wade was by far the most dominant player on Miami and he gets only three shots, one being a half-court desperation heave, in the final seven minutes?

The plan was to have a teammate to rely on to have less of the burden on himself, but yet he doesn't even use him?

Explain that one to me.

Wade was having his way, shooting 13-of-20 from the field as Dallas had no answer, yet possession after possession, all Miami could manage was one jump shot after another.  The closers had faded back to regular-season form, looking as dazed and confused as Bron Bron when cameras are nowhere to be found.

Miami's gaffe gives Dallas all the momentum in the world, stealing a game on the road.  Miami's lack of a killer instinct, a characteristic James has been oft-criticized for, cost them as they were unable to put away Dallas. 

It must've been interesting to watch Nowitzki on the other side, a man who walks a similar path as James, up until the part where Dirk continued pursuing a title with the Mavericks and not fleeing with a white flag in hand.  Wierd thing is, James could've avoided any backlash by giving the ball to Batman, excuse me, Wade, down the stretch.

Then again, what is James exactly playing for, the guy has already celebrated like a King (pun intended) back in July.

No, not a title, but himself.

Primetime Thoughts

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:42 am
 

Why the Miami Heat Better Lose

We are almost a year removed from “The Decision” and the fact that the Miami Heat are in the NBA Finals seemingly makes everyone sick, myself included.  Baby Bron Bron and Chris Bosh bolted to Miami to form the most ridiculous concoction ever seen in the NBA. 

We’ve entered a phase where Kobe Bryant is nearing the end, signaling possibly the last of the strong-willed player, the one who embraces the role of being “the guy” (What’s that Bron might ask?).  Players grow tired of the losing and pressure placed on their shoulders, so they bail to team up with other All-Stars.  It seems that everyone else is doing it, and if you can’t beat them, join them. 

James and Bosh set the tone, Carmelo Anthony soon after.  James and Bosh along with Wade are attempting to win a title playing three v five, Anthony didn’t want to lose out on $20 million, so he forced the issue and made the Knicks give up four core players.  Not too far are stars like Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams.

Are we really seeing the NBA take a seismic shift ala the MLB?

I am an enthusiast of all four major professional sports, but let’s be honest.  Major League Baseball lacks the competitive parity that the NFL does and to extreme heights.  Out of 30 teams, realistically a handful are in the running to win the World Series.

Now you may feel the NBA is already there, with the Lakers and Spurs winning 9 of the last 12 championships.  However their competition varied over the years because there was a balance throughout the league.

If we see Bron Bron hoisting a trophy in a few weeks, not only will I be sick to my stomach (who knows how much more that man can gloat when he actually has something to flaunt), but a Miami Heat title will validate that whole charade which went down last July. 

Big picture, the NBA is screwed.

As mentioned, there are several stars who will potentially call a different team home.  They are all looking to follow in the footsteps of Bron Bron and Anthony; seeing Miami win will be the last push some of these guys need to bolt their current teams.

Does the NBA really need half the league to be lottery-bound before Christmas after all the star players have stacked up and comprised a handful of teams?

That doesn’t make for a very competitive league or a very enticing product.

It is this very fear which drives my plea for the Dallas Mavericks to whip the Heat.

Asides from the fact that Dirk Nowitzki is long overdue for a ring, Dallas needs to remind everyone what it takes to win a championship, that being a team, as opposed to three stars surrounded by talent that is underwhelming to say the least.

Primetime Thoughts

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 12:47 pm
 

The LeBronologues: Volume I

The LeBronologues are in no way, shape, or form, attacking LeBron James on the court.  The man is clearly an elite athlete who possesses talent that has never been seen before in the NBA.  That being said, James has a knack for making himself look like a knucklehead time after time, which will simply be magnified here, courtesy of yours truly, Primetime.

For those of you who have been following me since the beginning (I wouldn’t be here without you, the fans), you know how I feel about Baby Bron Bron post-decision.  For those who are new to the website, welcome asides, you can see here, and here, just how I feel about this clown, who took self-kool-aid sippage to a whole new level, one that only Brett Favre can be proud of. 

So what was James most recent gaffe?   

The Michael Jordan discussion, of course.

Last week former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen claimed that James, “But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game.” 

Debatable, but nothing that hasn’t been discussed before.

James responded later in the week and his response probably won’t surprise you, it definitely didn’t shock me.

“I’m gracious, humbled by Scottie’s comments with him being a teammate of his and seeing Michael on a day-to-day basis. But as far as me? I don’t know. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m better than Jordan or if I’m not better than Jordan. It's not about that.”

Bron Bron being Bron Bron.

The entire articles can be found here, but why wouldn’t James close the door on that type of talk? Despite the fact that he has yet to win a title, much less six (none of which will be won as “the guy”), James couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put himself on the same pedestal.  Gaudy stats aside, James and Jordan share nothing else on the basketball court.  Most athletes would put that talk to rest, especially when their resume in its current state doesn’t measure up.  But James, nope, James is in a league of his own, one where he resides by himself, the only man to have made love to himself so extensively on national television, for an hour

James seemingly looked to be playing the modest card when he began to speak, but unfortunately, James was his own undoing, and could you really expect James to not take on the opportunity to smush himself?

Stay tuned for the next James snafu, odds are it will be sooner rather than later.             

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com