Magic Johnson Praises LeBron's Playoff Performance

Magic Johnson: LeBron's Performance One Of The Greatest Ever

5/21/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

May 20, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) goes up for a dunk against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miami defeated Indiana 101-93 in game 4 of the eastern conference semifinals. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIREIt has been brought to my attention by the one and only Skip Bayless via Twitter that Magic Johnson has apparently called LeBron James' game against the Pacers on Sunday "one of [the] greatest performances ever." LeBron stuffed the stat sheet with 40 points, 18 rebounds, and 9 assists, which is a feat that, in the playoffs, has only been accomplished once before, by Elgin Baylor. LeBron was exceptional, there's no doubt about it, but I think Magic is getting great performances confused with great numbers. LeBron 's first three quarters were dominant, as they often are, but he then disappeared in the fourth quarter, as he also often does.

After his put-back dunk at the 8:11 mark of the fourth quarter, LeBron failed to score, aside from the three free throws he made after being intentionally fouled when the game was all but over. LeBron had an outstanding game through three quarters and had the Heat leading by 6 points, then Bruce Wade (Batman, get it?) said "I'll take it from here, Bron Bron." Inside of 8 minutes it seemed like every time the Pacers were closing in and the Indiana crowd was going crazy it was Wade and Udonis Haslem who kept shutting the door. Haslem! He was exceptional. It's not completely out of line to say that the elbow to the face Haslem received from Lou Amundson was the game changer. For whatever reason, Haslem came back into the game with a band-aid on his eye like a man possessed. He was just drilling those Bosh-esque mid-range jumpers with hands in his face. LeBron, on the other hand, went 0-4 inside the final 8 minutes of play. When you are playing in a close game and can't score a meaningful point in the final 8 minutes, that's not a great performance. He was forced to fall back on his teammates to get the win for him.

Now something for those of you blinded by "The King's" Veil. A common argument that all these LeBron supporters have is that we're "too hard" on Bron Bron, and that if any other player put up those numbers we wouldn't be talking about his fourth quarter disappearing act. Well, LeBron likes to call himself King, so we're gonna judge him like a king. Sure, if Udonis Haslem had put up 40 then was awful down the stretch I wouldn't knock him. But he's Udonis Haslem, and we're talking about LeBron James, possibly the most physically talented player in NBA history. To live up to his name and the hype that he created for himself ("not one... not two...") he can't just put up great numbers, he has to close out games with signature performances. I'd be significantly more impressed if he went three quarters with only 12 points, then shut the door on the Pacers in the fourth with another 12. It's not about how you start, it's about how you finish, and LeBron once again came out of the gates at light speed then got stuck in the mud.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

5/21/12   |   delonamos   |   1 respect

straight hating, lebron can dominate a game without scoring. bron was the facilitator he made wade and U looked good, bron was staring the ship. 18 rebounds was key. king scored or assisted on 62 points

5/21/12   |   kantwistaye   |   4210 respect

And you're still 100% wrong and clueless about it.

5/21/12   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

as i said, exceptional, unbelievable performance. you don't gotta agree with me, but for me to consider a performance all time great you gotta close out the game (like the game against the pistons mentioned above, that was all time great). i don't expect lebron to rip off 25 straight to end every game, but wade and haslem closed out that game, not lebron

also, i'm not saying lebron doesn't live up to the king nickname, i'm just saying he's under more of a microscope because he calls himself king, chosen one, etc

5/21/12   |   kantwistaye   |   4210 respect

If this is your reaction to this game, just give up - not only on watching and understanding basketball, but on sports in general.  This is Skip Bayless-level trolling stupidity.

5/21/12   |   scquwi1   |   1227 respect

I am not a James' fan but it was one of the greatest performance ever. Saying great for the first 3 quarters, but the game is four quarters, is just flat stupid. That is like saying there was never a great band, or album because, not ever every song was a hit, or was #1 on the charts. Only 3 out 12 made it to the top ten so the album is a failure, just flat out stupid.

As for living up to the nickname King James, name the players in the league past or present who could/can play with him. there is not many. He carried the Cavs to the finals, the same year we shall the Cavaliers eliminated Detroit in Game 6. The wins included a 109–107 double-overtime game at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Game 5, in which LeBron James scored the last 25 points for the Cavs, and his performance in this game is recognized as one of the best in NBA history.

So now there is game where he did not come through in the 4th quarters, but there is many games were he controlled the the 4th quarter, do not be blinded by Skip Bayless and fools who claim Lebron has to have a ring to prove he is great, Luke Walton has to championship rings, and there is no way in the universe someone will believe Luke Walton is better then Lebron James. It is a team sport people!!!

5/21/12   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Datman71 wrote:
You're an idiot. Greatest game in 50 years but he didn't do enough for YOU in must win on the road. If you nitpicked your life as hard as you nitpick Lebron's game you would accomplish some incredible feats. Nothing short of stopping world hunger, cancer etc. What a clown.

best three quarters in nba playoff history, but the game is four quarters

5/21/12   |   Datman71

You're an idiot. Greatest game in 50 years but he didn't do enough for YOU in must win on the road. If you nitpicked your life as hard as you nitpick Lebron's game you would accomplish some incredible feats. Nothing short of stopping world hunger, cancer etc. What a clown.