By: Andrew Oak
His Game 2 performance on Sunday shows why he is the best player in this generation and on the verge of winning his third consecutive NBA Finals.
Over the years, LeBron James has rarely come in second in anything. This year, he finished 2nd to Durant in MVP, was 2nd in ALL NBA 1st team votes (1 away from a unanimous decision) and he also was on the ALL NBA Defensive 2nd team. Very unprecedented to say the least.
Now he is out to prove that he is number one at years end. Which is ultimately what any player wants over anything. A Championship.
In Game 2, LeBron James looked passive and played like a pedestrian in the first quarter. He was very tentatively to say the least. From the 2nd quarter on, he was locked in. He hit 13 of 18 shots, did not miss a 3 point attempt (3 for 3) and added 9 rebounds (10 total). When you see a player in a groove like that, it is impossible to stop. When you have such a great player ready to take the next step to greatness, quotes like this come out at the post game press conference.
"I just try to impose my will in some kind of way, either scoring or rebounding or assisting or defending,"
~ LeBron James
One stat to keep a close eye on is this one. In the 'Big 3 Era', The Miami Heat are 5-0 when they lose Game 1 in a playoff series. More importantly, they have lost Game 1 in the last two NBA Finals and eventually won both series. In 2012, Durant and the Thunder closed out a Game 1 victory, but Miami then swept them the rest of the way. Last year, another Game 1 loss to San Antonio, alas much closer, but closed them out in 7 games. All in all, this series is going the distance. Both teams have significant advantages in different aspects of the game.
Having said that, when you have the best player on the planet and when he can impose his will on a player or a team, in some kind of way, I guess its really not the end of the world to lose Game 1 sometimes.