The final play of Game 5 involving the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat is still being talked about as LeBron James decided not to play hero ball and opted instead to kick the ball out to Chris Bosh on the wing for a game winning three-pointer. The shot didn’t go as Bosh was contested and came up just short but there’s an interesting footnote to the story in Roy Hibbert enlightens us on how LeBron enlightened him just prior to the final play.
Hibbert spoke to reporters after the game, including beat writer Scott Agness, and said that before the final play of Game 5 even happened, LeBron James told him what was coming.
I asked him straight up right before the play. I was like, “You gonna pass to Bosh?” And he said if I’m in the paint he will. We were just joking around. I thought he was going to the basket and I tried to help my teammate out and those guys covered for me.
Misconstrue this and it sounds like hubris got the best of LeBron and his ‘come get me’ moment failed, but it’s actually a lot less sinister than that. The fact of the matter remains though that the Pacers knew what LeBron was going to do even if they didn’t hear it ahead of time.
The defense for the Pacers — that defense which had been nonexistent in the fourth quarter so far — came up big on that contested three by Bosh and that can’t be chalked up to Hibbert knowing ahead of time that LeBron was kicking the ball out to Bosh.
It’s a lot cooler to think that the Heat somehow let the Pacers win so they can clinch on home court, but the Pacers defense came up big and that’s what counts in the end.