He’s got nine points in the first 4:15, powering the Heat to a 14-10 lead. Best part for the Heat is his outside shot is falling. He nailed a 3-pointer to open the scoring and just hit a long 2-pointer that sent Dallas into a timeout.
James seemed to be losing confidence in his jumper while the Heat lost the last two games. But when it’s falling, the way it was against Boston and Chicago in the last two rounds, he is perhaps the most unguardable player in the game.
Yet, none of this matters too much until we see what he does in the fourth quarter. He’s got only 11 points in five games in that period, the biggest story in this series.
If he keeps up this pace, maybe the fourth quarter won’t matter tonight.
Struggling with the idea that this could be the last game of the season.
It’s been a thrilling finals and one more game would be great, but that’s not necessarily the reason.
It’s more that nobody wants to think about what comes next.
These finals are such a contrast to last year’s in that regard. People couldn’t wait to get started on the offseason after the Lakers and Celtics finished, because it was going to be historic. Last summer’s free agency season, which of course ended with LeBron James and Chris Bosh coming here to join Dwyane Wade, was maybe the biggest story of the year in sports. Questions of whether LeBron would stay in Cleveland, or come save New York, or pick up where Michael Jordan left off in Chicago, or team up with Wade had been talked about for months, if not years.
Now it’s the labor situation, and nobody is looking forward to that.
Should the finals end tonight, it’s back to work Tuesday in New York for Commissioner David Stern, when players and owners meet again. Then the draft next week is considered lackluster, in part because some top players stayed in school due to the uncertainty about next season.
After that, it’s all bargaining, all the time until they get a new deal, or until the lockout starts July 1.
So let’s hope for at least one more good game before having to worry about that.
This series is so close, it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen tonight.