The NBA Finals and the 2013 NBA season could come to an end Tuesday evening. LeBron James and the Miami Heat are trailing the San Antonio Spurs 3-2 and are one game away from admitting defeat on the biggest stage of professional basketball for a second time in three years.
James has by all means not been horrible in this series, as his numbers are still fantastic, but he has not been able to score that well. Mr. Efficiency himself is shooting just 43.6% from the field in the Finals and is connecting on just 31.6% of his 3-point attempts. By LeBron’s standards, that’s pretty awful.
At this point, it’s pretty clear what James has to do — score. Most of Miami’s shooters have gone cold (although Ray Allen seems to have regained his touch) and while Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have been somewhat better, LeBron cannot rely on anyone but himself to get it done on Tuesday.
Boris Diaw matched up well against James in game 5, and a lot of credit has to go to the collective defensive effort of the Spurs, but it didn’t really feel like James was playing with a sense of urgency with the series tied at two apiece. He was blowing open layups, falling asleep on defense and seemingly hoping that things will fall into place. Well, they won’t.
So far in this series, the most desperate team has always come out on top, and with the Heat on the brink of elimination, LeBron has to be the most desperate of them all.