There’s been plenty of talk this walk from and about LeBron James and his shooting numbers. In the 104-96 Miami Heat win over the Charlotte Bobcats, playing without Dwyane Wade, the NBA MVP showed he can be just as selfish with the ball like other superstars around the league.
The Heat needed overtime to get by the Bobcats, winning for a 15th consecutive time against them. LeBron James took 25 field goal attempts, something he’s done only once more this season (December 23 game against Atlanta). He finished scoring 34 points, adding 8 rebounds and 6 assists, finishing the game with an ice pack on his shoulder, possibly sore from shooting a lot more than it has gotten used to do.
I came out shooting the ball extremely well and then I just hit a cold streak. My teammates kept confidence in me and I was able to get it going again. The game presented itself for me to be aggressive and I was able to shoot a lot. It felt, well… that’s why I’m icing my shoulder now.
It wasn’t smooth sailing for James or the Heat. He began the game hitting his first five field goals before missing the next nine. He finished the game on 8-of-11 from the field, but it was probably the defense and energy (and not just from him) that made the Heat put their awful defensive display in the first half (allowing 60 points) behind them and come up with the win.
Chris Bosh had a hard time with Al Jefferson all game long, but especially in the first half. Things changed, the Heat started trapping more and giving Jefferson different looks, as the Bobcats scored only 30 points in the final two quarters. Jefferson finished the game with 22 points and 14 rebounds, but was only 10-of-23 from the field, and after the game went to the Heat’s locker room to congratulate them for their outstanding defensive effort in the second half.
Bosh himself had a very good game with 25 points and 7 rebounds. Ray Allen did well (Except for 3-point shooting, 1-5) in Wade’s spot in the lineup, scoring 12 points and Mario Chalmers added 9. Greg Oden got to play in his second NBA game of the season, spending 5 minutes on the floor and managing to pick up 3 fouls along with his one point from the line.
Our guys were not happy at halftime and wanted to take a lot more pride in our defense and not just be talk but to walk the talk. They did a good job. They had us moving around and were moving the ball and attacking us and getting great looks. The second half there was more of a concentration — not only the effort but a discipline.
This season continues to be not just a race to find a better place in NBA lore and history, but also a fight against themselves. The Miami Heat have focus, fatigue and motivation issues on some nights, but as long as they can minimize those moments to sections in games and not let it become a dragged on thing, there’s not that much to be worried about, especially if James realizes that sometimes he does have to play a Bryant-Durant-Anthony-Harden kind of role, which he can do just as well.