This year's playoffs are routinely making all the experts and pundits look like neophytes and amateurs when it comes to predicting games. Time after time, the team that wasn’t supposed to win – wins. Even the verbose, Stephen A. Smith, now pleads the 5th when it comes to making predictions.
No one thought the Thunder could beat the Spurs when they were down 0-2. No one thought that the Celtics could recover from being down 0-2 to Miami. And no one thought that the Heat could beat the Celtics in Boston tonight. The 2012 playoff script has been completely unpredictable and mercurial, just the way David Stern likes it.
With the weight of the world on his shoulders tonight, LeBron played the role of a star actor. LeBron played 45 minutes, put up 45 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists, stunning the raucous fans in Boston. The last man to put up those kinds of numbers? Wilt Chamberlain. Additionally, tonight was LeBron’s 11th forty-point playoff game, second only to Kobe Bryant.
Love him or hate him, LeBron is once again showing why he is a three-time MVP.
Coach Spoelstra said, “He (James) was absolutely fearless tonight and it was contagious. He came out with an attack mentality right from the get-go. The way he approached the last 48 hours – not only LeBron, but everybody else.”
Even on a night where Dwyane Wade went 6-17, it didn’t matter. LeBron James looked like a bull in the China Shop. He was absolutely determined to will his team to a victory, proving all naysayers wrong, at least for now.
Coach Doc Rivers said, “I hope now you guys can stop talking about LeBron and how he doesn’t play well in big games. That’s to bed. When a guy comes out and throws a barrage at you like that, it takes a lot out of you.”
“You got to tip your hat to him,” Ray Allen said in disappointment. “He carried their team tonight. We got to attack him better than we did.”
While most of the country is rooting against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, basketball fans have to recognize what LeBron is doing on a nightly basis. We can hate and criticize LeBron all we want, but what we can't do is under appreciate his greatness.