I was just going to make this post about basketball and the ugly display from LeBron’s supporting cast. Let’s face it. The Heat are a one man show. It all rides on King James’ shoulders Monday. Unless Dwyane Wade suddenly has a pair of good knees and Chris Bosh ends his extended vacation, Miami might be in trouble. They got pulverized by the Pacers in Game Six. Roy Hibbert had his way and David West hit some big shots. Paul George was strong and George Hill bounced back as Team Try Hard forced a seventh game.
What’s it all mean? For the defending champs, it’s back to the drawing board. It can’t all be about LeBron. He has to dominate. His halftime speech fired up teammates en route to a Game Five rout. But it wasn’t his sidekicks. Rather old reliable Udonis Haslem, who was money. Tonight, he missed both shots he took while Wade and Bosh continued their vanishing act.
Indiana isn’t the most talented team. They hardly have a bench, relying on a strong starting five. In many aspects, their grinding physical style reminds me of those classic Knicks teams from the 90′s. The only major difference is our orange and blue boasted superstar Patrick Ewing. They had enforcer Charles Oakley and unpredictable two John Starks. Those teams were tough but never quite had enough to get past Michael Jordan’s Bulls. Air Jordan had Scottie Pippen. A legitimate second option. The Pacers don’t have a star though George is on the cusp. He’s only in Year Three. A scary prospect for the current Knicks, who were sent packing by those Pacemakers in the second round.
Most thought our Knickerbockers could pose the biggest threat to the Heat. How wrong we were. Here are the Pacers playing menacing defense while at times, putting us to sleep with some woeful offensive possessions. Their style will never be confused with Showtime. I didn’t think it would be such a close series. But as it’s played out, the bigger more physical upstarts match up. If either Wade or Bosh stepped up, there wouldn’t be a seventh game to decide who’s playing San Antonio. The Pacers aren’t in Miami’s class. The Heat haven’t been consistent. For a team that was the no-brain pick for a repeat, they’re flawed. The leaks are showing. Wade looks ready for a retirement home and Bosh has always been a fraud. As talented as he is, he can’t be the second option.
I don’t see the Pacers winning the series. Home court makes a difference. No way the Heat lose Game Seven in South Beach. However, if James’ suddenly struggling supporting cast doesn’t get their act together, he might need to get 40. He’s certainly capable of exploding. The virtuoso performance of a year ago at Boston along with taking over Game Five are proof. Regardless of the King Of Flop, he’s the best player on the planet. I have to admit I enjoyed the chant, “He’s A Flopp—ah!”
Since this post had some kickass music playing in the background, I give you the incomparable Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Baby” from New Rising Sun in 1970. The same year he died.