If you’ve read my posts regarding LeBron James lately, or caught our mid-season MVP rankings, you know I’m backing James for MVP this season. He probably won’t get it, but deserves it, so far at least (26.6, 7.2, 7.3). Dwight Howard loves to mock the whole LeBron powder thing before games, and if there’s one thing about LeBron this season – he’s playing with a grudge, and it’s better not to piss him off. Howard also “beat up” his best bud, Dwyane Wade, as Wade was pulling up for a dunk, with a nice hard foul. Wade came back, but James was pretty much alone in this game.
Well, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. James dropped 51 on the Magic and Howard, an NBA best this season and still had time for 8 assists. On a night when Bosh and Wade combine for 33.3% from the field, that is what needs to be done. By the way, LeBron’s 51 points are an NBA best this season, beating Durant’s 47. It’s also James’ ninth career 50 point game, all of them done on the road. The Heat (35-14) are now 4.5 games ahead of the Magic (31-19).
And to the other side of the nation, the Lakers dropped another one at home. We’ve mentioned this before – right now, they don’t have the intensity to play with the really good team, and there’s no better team in the league right now than the San Antonio Spurs. Pop may declare differently, but the record (41-8) suggests otherwise. The Lakers led by a point with less than 5 seconds on the clock. They got Duncan to shoot a tough fade away and miss. Still, Antonio McDyess was there to tip it in at the buzzer and win it for the Spurs 89-88.
This time it was Kobe who was off his game, shooting 5-18 from the field. Again, the Lakers have plenty of time to find their groove and magic back till playoff time. Problem is, they won’t have home court advantage all the way this time and call me crazy, but I don’t believe they can turn it up this time when needed. Too many problems that just aren’t getting fixed.
And speaking of Crazy, watch this shot by Gary Neal, beating the buzzer during the first quarter.