After taking a few days off to give other Miami Heat players, and especially Chris Bosh, some more sense of independence and self-empowerment, LeBron James is back to finish the season the right way – by winning, dominantly, and showing everyone that even without Dwyane Wade next to him, he’s so good he can lead his team to comfortable, uncontested wins.
James was out for three games, in which the Heat, led by Chris Bosh, went 2-1. Still, it was clear that the offense wasn’t clicking, never scoring more than 90 points in those three games, even not against the Bobcats. So while Bosh took a rest for a sore knee, James came back from his rest/injury to show everyone how it’s done the right way. He finished with 27 points and 5 assists on 12-17 from the field.
James didn’t even need more than 31 minutes to put on his shooting clinic, which wasn’t about some dominance in the paint or the Heat playing fast basketball off the 76ers’ turnovers in the 106-87 win. It was about making good decisions on offense, with players in constant motion while the ball moved the same way as well, finishing with 25 assists on their 40 field goals, while turning the ball over only 9 times.
James’ presence helped a few others shine and show their shooting ability, as five more players scored in double figures. Rashard Lewis has been enjoying some more time on the court in the absence of yet another Heat star, finishing with 14 points. Norris Cole, who has been doing a great job recently on both ends of the floor added 13, while Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem made their presence felt as well on the scoreboard.
While James also became the 32nd player in NBA history to reach the 21,000 career points mark, the most impressive thing about the Heat’s win was despite being shorthanded, they looked fresh and smooth in a back-to-back game. One of the more telling signs about how prepared they are for the rigorous playoff is their record on second nights of back-to-back games, 13-1, which is the second-best mark in such games in NBA history, following only the Dallas Mavericks of the 2006-2007 season, hoping their aspirations don’t end up the same way.