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LeBron James Is Becoming “The Closer” Of The NBA Playoffs

Submitted by on May 26, 2011 – 9:24 am3 Comments

Ever since LeBron James skipped town to take his talents to South Beach, skeptics (including this writer) questioned James’s confidence in his ability to be the superstar who can carry his team. We’ve questioned why he would tarnish his legacy by joining a crew of superfriends in Miami. We’ve wondered if James possesses the killer instinct the greats like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant possess.

As the season progressed, I even stated the Heat wouldn’t win the championship this year because nobody wanted to close the show. But in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, LeBron James is serving all of his skeptics a healthy helping of crow. “King” James is on a monster run in the playoffs and displays a sort of ruthlessness which puts the Miami Heat in position to get to the NBA Finals and see the Big Three capture the championship in their first year together.

On paper, this is a superteam that should win a title. But paper only gets you so far in the NBA. It takes a clutch player to close the game down the stretch and LeBron has demonstrated he can pick up the slack in the closing minutes. He put the nails in the coffin of the Boston Celtics by dropping huge buckets in the closing minutes. Now, in the Eastern Conference Finals, James is rising to the occasion and showcasing the confidence in his own ability to finish off the #1 seeded Chicago Bulls. Rather than defer to his talented teammates, James took control in Game 2 by scoring nine points in the final 4:27 and tying the series at two games apiece. He excelled again in Game 3 and came up big in Game 4 to put the Bulls on the bring of elimination.

It’s been all LeBron, all the time. Although Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have been huge, it has been James’ performance that has stood out.

Maybe it is because teams know he can defer to his teammates down the stretch; leaving teams confused as to who to focus on in big game situations. But then again, the Heat had a helluva time earlier this year playing 48 minutes of championship basketball. LeBron has figured it out. Now we have to see if he can get his ring.

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