Give and Go
By Erie Times-News Sports Erie Times-New staff bloggers
The Erie Times-News sports staff delivers in-depth coverage of the Erie BayHawks and pro and college basketball   Read more about this blog.
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Posted: June 11th, 2011
Do or doom for Miami….

Can LeBron James lead Miami to a win Sunday in Game 6 to force a Game 7. Hmmmm./AP Photo

I hate the term “Do or die.”

One, it’s cliche. Two, you’re not going to die by losing a game, but  you’re not going to feel that good, either.

The Miami Heat are facing that reality.

Down 3-2 to the Dallas Mavericks, the Heat need to win Sunday’s Game 6 at home to force a deciding Game 7 on Tuesday in Miami.

Truth is, the series should be over.

Miami blew a huge lead in Game 2 at home and should have won Game 4 as well but give Dallas credit. The Mavericks are locked in defensively and Dirk Nowitzki is not only playing, but he’s being a leader.

LeBron James should take some notes from him on how to find a way in the fourth quarter.

The other day, my brother asked me if LeBron just doesn’t have what it takes in the fourth quarter. Having seen him for five seasons up close and personal in Cleveland before he headed to South Beach, LeBron had some moments late in games, but I would say he’s had more positive ones.

You don’t win 60-plus games two years in a row with the Cavaliers without closing games. To me, the difference is the situation.

James thrived as the underdog. He really liked that idea.

Now he’s the one people are coming after. They are imposing their will on him, not the other way around. He’s reacting instead of attacking.

Got to blame the coach here a little bit, Erik Spolestra. The best finisher I had ever seen in the game before James came into the league was James Worthy.

Magic Johnson deserves all the credit in the world for orchestrating that team and Kareem Abdul Jabbar was unguardable, but Worthy completed the whole “Showtime” scene by finishing fast break after fast break with his signature one-handed dunk.

So I’m trying to figure out why the best finisher in the game today – James – has to always start the play. People are talking about him being fatigued.

I’m not buying that, but if he is, it’s because he has to iniate the offense and then score, too.

When it’s all said and done, Dwyane Wade can go out and score 40 points and Miami will still lose Sunday if James isn’t putting up numbers with him.

It’s not do or die, but if Miami loses, few will have pity on them.

Can’t you hear Cleveland cheering?

I can.


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