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LeBron James is the most criticized man in sports
June 10, 2013 - Troy Hyde
For most players, a triple double would get rave reviews from the media.
But not LeBron James.
Nope. His 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists just wasn't good enough for fans or the media after the Miami Heat dropped Game 1 of the NBA Finals last week.
He needs to score more points, most say. He needs to be more aggressive, others chant.
I hope most intelligent basketball fans realize what kind of player we are watching here. James may not have four or five titles to his credit -- yet -- but he still should be regarded as one of the best basketball players to ever play the game, even if he doesn't average 40 points per game.
The funny thing is, James had a less impressive stat line in the Heat's game two win but because the series is now tied at 1, James will get much more credit.
The problem in game one was his supporting cast just failed to show up. Dwyane Wade had a great first half but pretty much disappeared in the fourth quarter when the Spurs double teamed James. Chris Bosh suddenly thought he was a 3-point artist even though none of those shots were falling.
The difference in game two was James got plenty of help. Mario Chalmers had his best game of the players and Wade and Bosh both got to double figures as well.
The panic button was pressed by a lot of fans and media members after the game one loss. The series is over, many said. The Heat just don't have enough to beat the Spurs, others talked about.
Those statements may be true, they may not. But don't forget that the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers both stole a home game in the first two contests earlier in the playoffs but the Heat still haven't lost back-to-back games since the 1990s. Ok, that's a big dramatic but you get the point.
The Heat won game two. But they had to. While it is not a huge deal if you lose one game at home, dropping a second when the other team gets three straight on their home floor would have been devastating.
I think James can get what he wants, when he wants but that is just not who he is. He can score 40. And there may be a game in this series when he does. But his game is more of the 26-8-8 than the 36-5-3 mold.
That is why he is going to need a little help from his sidekicks.
This series is going to be a good one. Just sit back and enjoy it.
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