LeBron James folds under pressure

I've said for the longest time this is the best player in the NBA by far.  However, LeBron has shown major cases of choking (or quitting which is even worse) at major junctions of his career.   He struggled mightily in the clutch during the playoffs for Cleveland, and now in the biggest stage, when he's about to get the ring, against a pedestrian defense, he's no where to be found.

On Mike and Mike this morning, they discussed how if LeBron had played a great game, but did what Wade did at the end, he'd be getting killed anyway, because we love to hate on LeBron.

They're missing the point.

The reason that Wade isn't getting killed has nothing to do with the fact that we like him more.   The reason Wade isn't getting killed, there's an APB out on LeBron James who hasn't been seen since game one. 

You see guys, we kill the guy most responsible for the loss.   Dwyane Wade missed a FT and fumbled a ball almost causing a backcourt violation, but if he didn't play outstanding basketball for most of the game, the Heat aren't even hanging around.

If LeBron James decided to show up and rip apart the Mavericks defense, then the Heat win this one by 15.   Seriously.  This is the fricken Mavericks.   They've climbed to upper-middle of the pack defensively this season, but they aren't special on that end.

Michael Jordan's career low in an NBA finals game, over 36 games or so, was 22 points.   LeBron has scored 24, 20, 17, and 8 in this series.   Seriously, eight points.

Eight.

Possibly the best player in the NBA against the Dallas Mavericks.   Eight points.

How the hell does LeBron only score eight?   Seriously? 

Before this series started, people talked about how LeBron could match Jordan's legacy.   The same dumbfuckery has been spouted off about Kobe if he were to win another title.

Yet no one actually stops to look at the performances in these games.   Jordan won six rings in fewer seasons.  He never failed to close once making it to the finals.  He never failed to win as the favorite.  He was never upset.  He never made it to the finals and then decided not to show up or needed some other teammate to bail out his ass because he went completely awol.

I thought LeBron James had potential to be the second best player in NBA history, but he's so far away right now.   When up against a wall, he's simply not a big game player.  Deep down, he shows signs of insecurity and a lack of faith in his own dominance.

He folds under pressure, it's just that he's so good that there's rarely pressure.  LeBron's still an all-time great.   He has Michael Jordan type talent, but he doesn't have the Michael Jordan mindset.   Michael Jordan wouldn't score eight in the finals.

Mentally soft.

LeBron needs to turn it around in the next three games or that label is going to start to stick with him rings or not.   LeBron James?    Batman skills, but a Robin mindset.   He may only care about the ring, but a ring means more when you were the primary force behind winning it.

So far, it doesn't look like that's happening for LeBron this season.

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  • + infinity (plus 1)...

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Lebron isn't even close to being Kobe, and Kobe despite being the only thing even remotely comparable to Michael is still not that close to being Michael.

  • In fairness MJ never played with a scorer like Wade and so no matter how he was shooting he would have kept getting shots up so his total would have never been so low.

    This is not to say that LeBron wasn't abysmal scoring last night, just that had he not been playing with Wade he would have gotten up far more shots (he only attempted 11) despite a slow start and hence would have ended up with a far greater total.

    Also the story of LeBron quiting/choking in last year's conference finals has, at the very least, been greatly exaggerated and that is where all the he chokes under pressure stuff mostly stems from. Otherwise last night would just be an oddity and not an reaffirmation that he doesn't come through when the pressure's on.

  • In reply to MADman24:

    I disagree about last year. It looked like he just pulled a Kobe Bryant and quit on his team. With the aftermath this year, it feels like he already knew he was going to Miami and wouldn't have to deal with those guys again.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    So true. I felt really bad for Cavs fans watching that Boston series last year. Particularly after Boston took control of the series. My ex-girlfriend was so distraught after I told her it appeared as though he'd quit on the team and the city.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Thanks serg, I would have gone with a PS3 however since it can also play blu rays and you can play online for nothing. I also would have posted your message somewhere where someone gives a shit and not on a sports blog. Maybe some women's blogs, they like to shop, right?

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Guess Doug already deleted your spam.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I think the system does it automatically when seomone flags it. I stopped bothering.

  • In reply to MADman24:

    You're partly right in your analysis, but you're forgetting the fact that MJ would never have teamed up with another superstar scorer. That's the difference between the two.

    "Batman skills, but a Robin mindset"

  • In reply to MADman24:

    Problem is he didn't even try to come through with the pressure on last night. The Heat were struggling big time with turnovers the entire 4th quarter when the Mavs went with the zone. LeBron just looked passive out there while his team was in the midst of crapping away a strangle hold on the game, series, and his first ring. I'm not one to always pile on LeBron, but he deserves no excuses for that performance last night.

  • I wonder who LeBron's mom ****ed this time.....

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    haha, I'm thinking Big Z!

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Wow!! That's really "evil"

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    and kind of uncalled for.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Not funny and no truth to that story

  • In reply to calle3:

    It was probably Howard....he's on the Hollywood herpies list.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    great article doug,completely agree with you on Lebron.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    I think that Lebron's folding is being slightly exaggerated but all in all you are right Doug. I find it funny how the Blogosphere and Twitter keep such a huge microscope on Lebron that even Kobe didn't have to deal with. Kobe has folded 10x more than Lebron has.

    I think the biggest problem for Lebron and Kobe is that they want to be the best but they aren't secure enough in themselves like Jordan was. They both quit on teams, act like kids (which they are), and don't know how to carry themselves. Lebron is a lot better than Kobe at this but he still doesn't get it.
    Jordan was just different and he was insane. He also got a 3 year education at a facility of higher education which neither Lebron nor Kobe did. Not only did Jordan get an education, but he had to listen to a coach and get benched etc...

    Lebron will still go down as the clear cut 2nd best player of all time, he is just 26. After his 5th Chip when Wade is a skeleton of his former self we won't look back at "Game 5" last year or "Game 4" this year as a huge deal.

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    LeBron will need to turn his career significantly to go down as the 2nd best of all time.

    I still think he has that kind of potential, but he needs to win titles because he's the stud at the end. He could still do that even this year with two big games.

    Wade has been a beast so far, but they've lost two of those three games.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Given that not everybody wants to give Mike the GOAT, Lebron has no shot of being #2.

    I doubt that Lebron ever catches Kobe, wherever you rank him(Kobe).

    The best that Lebron can ever be is in the conversation with Oscar and Magic for whatever we call that category.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'd put Magic over Kobe, so I suppose that category is still up for debate for #2.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Honestly, if you really evaluate at who were actually responsible for championships...1)MJ 2) Magic 3)Tim Duncan 4)Kobe...
    Even if the Heat win this year...LeBron didn't show up for many games plus Wade draws attention unlike Gasol or Ginobli. LeBron mesmerizes the media more because he seems like that potential 1st pick in the draft compared to even MJ, Magic or Kobe.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    he's not even likely a top 10 guy. Forget top 5 where you have Jordan, Kareem, Bird, Magic, & Russell. Doubt he beats out Oscar, Wilt, Hakeem, Duncan, or Jerry West, and quite honestly a lot of others outside of the top 10

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Dumbfuckery.

    I'm gonna use that in casual conversation as much as I can.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I don't care if MJ was playing with Wilt Chamberlain in his prime. MJ would never score 8 in a finals game. The fact that James only took 11 shots and only got to the free throw line twice is disgraceful. The only way that could be acceptable is if he hit at least 9 of 11 from the field and had assists in the teens. He has to play 2 ridiculously dominant games in Miami wins to keep this series from staining him permanently.

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    I've discounted Lebron's greatness/capacity to be The Man on a team since 'The Decision'. I can't fault the guy for wanting to win. He has said it that he doesn't care about winning individual accolades, he just wants to win. However, as wise as that statement may sound, to me it's really just Lebron basically saying "I quit!". He can't take the wear and tear of being the driver of a team.

    About the 8 point game. I don't think Lebron care that much with this 8 point game. It's part of why he joins the Heat, so he can let Bosh and Wade take the pressure off of him and ease himself back into rhythm when he's off. That's what bother me most about the Heat, having Wade, James and Bosh on the same team means one of the three can rest up at some point during the game and the Heat still won't miss a beat. Two of the three guys will always come in fresh, it's like 48 minutes of basketball hell IMO.

    Back to Lebron, in terms of Lebron and MJ comparison, here's how I always put it: Lebron LOVES to win, Michael HATES to lose. Mike always have this aura/feel about him when he's on the court that screams "I'm going to f*&k you!". And that's why MJ is the quintessential Alpha Dog. I never sense this with Lebron. Kobe have it, but Kobe never have the poise. Now with him playing with Wade and Bosh in Miami, it only solidifies my perception.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    You rule. And ignore these jackasses. You're very funny.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    He's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Where've you been?

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    I've been hunting Mr. Happy for the last year or so. He's proven to be quite a wily prey and my efforts have yet to produce a capture.

    I will continue my hunt, but wanted to see if Doug was still spending 90% of his time tickling Lebron's balls.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    you mean hunting the Wolf?

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    He must be busy in Miami and NY trying to convince Wade and Melo to force a deal to Chicago;-)

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cppinwc1PzY

    Wade and lebron Mock Dirk Being sick

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I saw LeBron james this afternoon and I asked him for change for a dollar. He only gave me 75 cents. I was a bit puzzled until I remembered LeBron never gives you the fourth quarter!

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Wondering if mentally, Lebron turned his "clutchness" up against Boston because they knocked him out of the playoffs the last couple of years, and then against the Bulls because he had to prove he made the right choice by going to Miami instead of Chicago. Now, he's slumping because he doesn't have a personal vendetta against Dallas and he doesn't have enough of an inner drive to dominate every night like his skills would allow him to.

  • Wade is clearly the better closer over Lebron. He has the competitive spirit and drive. Wade's the best SG in the league now. And that presents a big matchup problem for the Bulls. How will GarPax respond? The draft is just two weeks away.

    GarPax need to execute in a defining moment.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Edward, did you watch the Bulls-Heat series?? While Bogans can't do anything on offense, he actually shut Wade down! Some of the best perimeter D I've ever seen against Wade, and Brewer did the same thing when he came in the game. James and Bosh were the dudes that the Bulls had trouble with.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Bulls have far too many one-way players. And you just mentioned two, both SGs. Bulls biggest need/challenge is getting a two-way SG who can compete deep in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agree! While I'd prefer to have Brewer start over Korver or Bogans, he still is not a serious threat on O. We need a 2-guard who can actually create, penetrate and pass, rather than just shoot the wide open J. Let's hope GarPax, like you say, can find someone who can either do that now, or will develop it soon. Thibs has shown that he can really develop young players, like Asik and Gibson.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Charles Jenkins

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I guess that I am going to have to investigate this guy.

  • In reply to Edward:

    that sounds a lot like Aflalo, although maybe a guy like Ellis who can score a ton can make up for his deficiencies at the defensive end.

  • In reply to Edward:

    fortunately for us Wade looks like a guy whose body will betray him sooner rather than later.

    Not sure that Lebron and Bosh is all that scary. Although Bosh might be gone in a Howard trade, which would be scary.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Orlando wouldn't do that.

  • Good article Doug! Lebron only getting 8 points a Keith Bogans type performance is not being the super star he is billed to be!

    Wade is the best SG and like many midwesterners went to Florida as I will do in the next 1.5 yrs as well!
    We can only dream of our Rose/Wade back court duo!
    Let's hope we get the upgrade at SG this offseason to compete hard with Miami and whoever for the championship for year to come! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    IF it wasn't for the allure of South Beach we could have had Wade and Lebron and dominated like Mike's Bulls.

  • Lebron isn't clutch and will never be. He always disappears in the money time. How a man compared with Jordan can score 0 pts the 4th quarter of a finals game.

    Anyway, Doog I heard(ESPN) that severals are running after Monta ellis namely Magic, lakers, hawks, sixers, memphis and chicago. If he isn't efficient, ball hogger and bad defender as you said how so many teams are interessed ? Even the lakers and hawks who already have a good SG !!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    *better, even.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/07/SP621JQSF0.DTL&feed=rss.warriors

  • In reply to deewaves:

    LeBron was always on a hiding to nothing with the move to Miami, he wins and it's "ho hum he should win with that team", he loses and it's "haha he sucks can't win with that team". He shoots the ball and it's "why didn't he give it to Wade, he was on fire", he passes and it's "he just doesn't have the superstar mentality".

    Don't really feel sorry for the guy because he's a douchebag, but I don't really feel the need to pile on either. For LeBron you get the feeling the worst thing that could happen to him is people stop talking about him.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Yes, time to bury the "Is LeBron as good as MJ?" argument that gets trotted out each playoff season. Just as most reasonable people now realize that Kobe is not even close to MJ, same deal here.

    Doug, you say that "LeBron is the best player in the NBA by far," but you're wrong. He is the "most complete player in the NBA," but not the best. The best would have to be somebody who can close the deal, who's key in the clutch, and he's not. His combo of skills and athleticism make him D Howard scary, but just as D Howard can not carry his team to victory at the end of games, neither can James.

    In fact, if not for Wade, who is very good in the 4th quarter, the Heat would have lost many more games this year . . . and they wouldn't even be in this series.

    This also brings to mind how spectacular James played against the Bulls. Now, it almost seems like an anomaly rather than the new norm for him. He suddenly became clutch at the end against the Bulls, but we may never see that again.

    Why?

    1) He simply not a classic shooter. Jordan had undeniably good shooting form, something that he perfected over this COLLEGE career. He even became a decent 3-point shooter.

    2) He doesn't have the killer mentality. MJ was a killer and was feared by everyone on the court. No one has ever been feared more.

    3) Back of his mind, he knows that Wade is better at the end of games and is a better shooter. That has an effect. While MJ knew that Paxson, BJ, Kerr, etc. were better 3-point shooters, he knew that he was still the best option at the end without question.

    4) He's defensively skilled, in part because of his tremendous athleticism, but again he is not a killer. Jordan would dominate on the defensive end, shutting people down and taking them out of the game mentally, like Clyde Drexler, Craig Ehlo, Dan Majerle, Byron Russell, etc. LeBron does not do this to people. For example, Deng and Pierce both had good series against him. And Marion is having a great series against him.

    I could go on and on, but will stop there!

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Nice post, I think you hit the nail on the head with everything. The definite difference between the two is Lebron's lack of a killer instinct. Jordan had it x1000, Wade has it (not quite on MJ's level), and Lebron is seriously lacking.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Thanks. And you know what's also interesting? Few of the very talented players have that killer instinct (such as Vince Carter = very talented but no KI), but even fewer still have that killer instinct and can deliver on it. Kobe is example no. 1. He wants to kill the other team, and can do so on occasion, but often he's also killed his own team (I like this metaphor), such as completely ignoring his teammates on the floor and shooting the 1-on-3 shot.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Even Kobe for all his showing that killer instinct was just emulating MJ. It can be manufactured to a certain extent/learnt to a certain extent but a lot of is in-born and that only MJ had it.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You know, that's exactly right. That's what the comparisons need to stop. There will never be another MJ. I love Derrick Rose, but as much as we all hope he will be one of the greats, he will never be as good as MJ. Nobody will ever be as good in the clutch than MJ at the peak of his powers. And even if there are certain clutch athletes like Chris Paul or Carmelo Anthony out there, they will never the outrageous athleticism and length that MJ possessed to get the job done. And that's my fear with Rose, can he truly be clutch? He wasn't against the Heat. And we know he will never be as long as MJ to finish inside, so he better improve that jumper!

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Obvious as it might be, and as I have said all year, if Rose were Jordan's height he would have as good of a shot at reaching Jordans level as anyone, but he is just too small to do what MJ did.

    Hell, we might have beat Miami if he was just taller.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Somewhere, MJ is Smiling

    MJ knows. For that matter Kobe, Bird, and Magic Johnson know it.

    LeBron is the most amazing basketball athlete on the planet. But if you want a basketball killer to close out a series, LeBron isn't your guy.

    He may bounce back with a great next game and the Heat go up 3-2. And the Heat will probably still win this series (would not bet against them).

    But last night LeBron James could have broken the backs of the Mavericks. And he didn't.

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Killer instinct and will are the intangibles that will always put Jordan in another world apart from Kobe, LeBron and the rest.

    Determination isn't a statistic that can be statistically measured, but it played a huge role in Jordan getting 6 titles.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    really, not just huge, it was the determinate factor.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    In the two Heat losses, both involving losing leads in the 4th quarter, "The King" has not made a shot from the field in the critical 24 combined 4th quarter minutes.

    Wow...just wow.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    MJ is in another stratosphere on how he behaves. Look at even his after playing days. He is not doing what Magic is doing....sitting around at late night for ESPN or couldn't own a team for all his business acumen. MJ has that "JFK" like bigger than humanity personality. Off-course, why do we even care about LeBron when he went to Miami. MJ had Pippen(Deng like)who for being a HOF wouldn't take defenders away from MJ. Actually, Dirk Nowitzki is more MJ like with playing sick and finishing in clutch while showing a killer emotion unlike the 3 flopping d-bags.

    BTW, I really hope Wade or LeBron gets injured...it is really frustrating to watch them argue with the referee after every damn call. It is ridiculous and I don't understand why it is not talked about much in the national media. It is not the type of call but these guys complain/whine about every call. Somebody needs to put them to rest for a few months so they can comeback with a different perspective.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Please do not campare Deng to Pippen, especailly in the same sentence.

    Pippen was a way better offensive performer than Deng, not even close actually.

    Pippen was a better rebounder, and on defense(supposedly Dengs strong suit)Pippen is a singularly unique(almost Bill Russell like)player in NBA histroy. As Johnny Bach and many an opposing coach has said he was a one man full court press. Deng is really just another anonymous guy.

    If Pippen was on this years Bulls team, we likely win it all.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    i hope that what he means by deng like is the difference in talent and defensive attention because it's obviously unfair to compare deng to a HOF and 50 greatest player of all time.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    A Dallas championship will make me forget that Game 5 collapse in Chicago

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    I think we should credit the GREAT defense of the future HOF Jason Kidd!

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Wait, you mean that Deng didn't shut down Lebron in the ECF. I thought that he was the best defensive small forward in the NBA, if not the history of the league. Isn't that why we can't trade him.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    My sarcasm was not directed at you specifically, just in general to the attitude on this blog.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    But, LeBron pulled a "Deng" yesterday. The point is though some of these superstars like Rose and LeBron seem to go on confidence more than anything.
    The problem is Ellis is a good player who can help but his size is what bothers me. If Rose was more of a Russell Westbrook size, Ellis might have worked.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    For me, calling Lebron the best player in the league is highly debateable. Sure, he may have the potential to become that later on in his career some day but today is not that day. Tim Duncan has done more in his career than it seems Lebron ever will. It's easy to look so great when up against Toronto, or the Clippers, or Charlotte. But when this guy get's on the big stage, it' a wrap. Thats when he gets exposed. That's when you start to see that this guy is nowhere near where he should be. And due to ESPN, he will never get there. They talk about how great he is. And he believes it. I don't think he feels there are areas of his game that he needs to improve on. They say he is such a great defender. Well I'd be a great defender to if I was covering guys 6 inches shorter than me. Jason Terry may have struggled and rightfully so. But the times Lebron has covered Marion, he's gotten abused. But they don't show THAT part in the highlight package. When faced with a challenge he has failed every time, so how can he be the greatest.

    It's just like college football. You hear all year about team xyz that is blowing the doors off of other teams all year. People loose sight of the fact that they are playing small conference teams. Or schools that bread and butter is really some other sport, say like Kansas. Then bowl season comes around and team xyz goes up against the SEC, where the talent level is quite beastly across the board, and end up looking rather average. Sometimes even less than average.

    EVERYBOY in the universe knew Dirk would get the ball. Any other time, he would step up and play defense. He took on Rose, and he wasn't even all that great a series. But afterwards, now its James is so great, he can guard all positions 1-4. Why isn't he on Dirk? He leaves Bosh and Haslem to get blown by in crunch time. Wade has way more heart than he does.

    People crowned this guy a king before he had ever done anything. And the worst part of it all. Is that people like Bill Plaschke won't man up and admit that although he is an amazing "talent", he is not as great as they think is his, thought he was, or want him to be. They give no credit to Dallas. C'mon, this is the finals. The EFFIN FINALS. Dallas has to be responsible for some of what's happening. This could easily be 3-1 series Mavs way. You tend to see just how average not just Lebron,but Miami as well when put in a half court game. Wade has made some miraculous shots and have kept miami in position. James however has done what he has always done.

    NOTHING.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The NBA is becoming like a reality series on television. The media is really pushing the fact that Lebron had a bad game. Why fuel this guys determination in game 5 to more than likely destroy the Mavs. No he's not Jordan and never will be but I have never seen so much talk about a player that has had a bad game in the finals. I'm not a Lebron fan nor a Heat fan, all I ask is why?... why fuel this guy with all of negative talk about him disappearing? Look for the Heat to win the next 2 and become champions, I really hope that I am wrong with that statement.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    IDK it's a matter of fueling James. As far as the media goes, they have to talk about something. For everybody else, it'simply pointing out how this guy's arrogance is unreal. He said after game 1 of the finals that the idea of defending him by daring him to shoot is pretty much put to bed, then clanks outside shot after outside shot...including every attempt from behind the arc, and an airball on a layup attempt in game 4.

    It's not fueling. It's called handing out a reality check.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Ellis is on a reasonable deal and can obviously provide scoring punch.

    I've not said the guy is worthless. I've only said if you trade talent for talent and get Ellis, you won't improve the team. He's not a good fit for the roster where he wouldn't be able to dominate the ball as much.

    I'm fine getting Ellis, but you go after him with expirings and picks, and if that's not enough then oh well.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    We need another go to scorer, how is Ellis not a huge upgrade over Deng.

    Thibs can/will figure out how to overcome the loss of Deng on Defense, offensively he is a best an average starting NBA small forward.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    +100

  • In reply to BigWay:

    LeBronnie Pippen

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Doesn't rebound, defend, or score off the ball?

    Ellis scores a lot when the ball is in his hands, but they can't figure out how to play Ellis (slasher) and Curry (shooter) together. How well do you think we play two slashers together?

    I would hazard a guess the offense is no better with Ellis on it because his game simply does not naturally complement Rose's and his total talent level isn't great enough to make up for that fact.

    Then on the other end, he puts us at a huge disadvantage defensively against our greatest rival if we trade one of our best perimeter defenders with size for him.

  • Good to see you've already suppressed all memories of the Eastern Conference Finals. It may not be the healthiest thing long-term, but you'll feel fetter in the interim.

  • In reply to bullsblogger:

    Short term relief for the win!

  • In reply to bullsblogger:

    The only thing the ECF showed was that the bulls and mostly DRose were mentally weaker than the Miami Heat (at this point). The bulls punched the Heat in the mouth in game one. The Heat picked themselves up and punched back and the bulls had no answer and folded. That's not exactly a surprise considering Rose is 22 and in his first ECF.

    Now that somebody is punching back, the Heat and LBJ don't look nearly as tough, do they?... LBJ is still showing that he is missing something mentally. The Heat haven't changed all season, they crushed the teams that were impressed and intimidated by their "star talent" and were beaten by the few teams with any mental toughness.

  • In reply to bullsblogger:

    What yesterday's game showed was a big flaw of the Bulls theory that defense wins games. Defense keeps you in games but you have to make clutch shots/Free Throws like what Dirk/Terry made yesterday. Plus, the panic mode which set in the Bulls especially with Noah and Rose hopefully should go away next year.

    Dallas might still lose the series but it showed how a really great offensive player like Dirk can drive defenses crazy in their positioning. Also, kudos to Carlisle for scheming with scrubs/washed out players basically after one of his main guys JJ Barea has been terrible.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Which is why one of the biggest moves of the offseason is to bring in an Offensive Coordinator!

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Agree that Thibs limitations were exposed in the playoffs. But my fear is Thibs is too stubborn to admit mistakes.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I fear his stubborness also, but hopefully he learned something from Doc and Van Gundy and Mussleman and all the other great coaches that he has worked under.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    You greatly insult Robin.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He only scored 21, so I would not call it a dominant offensive game.

    Obviously, you need someone with the ability to score down the stretch, but the best pure scorers rarely win championships unless the latch on to a team that plays D.

    Jordan himself without his all world D would not likely have won any championships.

  • Doug-

    You know your blog has "made it" when you get spammed...

  • Marion didn't even play yesterday in the 4th quarter.

  • And Joe Next Door paid $10 for your mom to come to his house tomorrow. Joe never again pay full date night prices for nay nay.

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