LeBron James had taken and hit the last 73 shots (seemingly) of the fourth quarter to bring the Heat back from an 18-point deficit against the pesky Jazz last night – but he passed on the last one.
It was all going in for James, he was rolling, he could not miss. At one point, pounding the dribble well beyond the top of the key, he licked his fingers and whipped the bottom of his shoes with them to announce his soon to come move to the basket and to ensure max traction for his subsequent drive and dunk. He was pulling his best Kobe face after amazing scores, chest pumping, posturing, oh the joy of it. Overtaking the Jazz seemed to be academic. LeBron’s basket just before the Heat’s last possession was a ridiculous, off-balance, appendages-flailing heave that hit home giving his team a two point lead. After Devin Harris scored on a floater in the lane, got fouled and converted the free throw, the ball landed in James’ hands again, with seconds to go for winning shot. He drove left, the Jazz doubled, but they had done that all night. From the left angle just back from the foul line it looked like James could easily rise up above Josh Howard and Paul Millsap because he’d been doing that all fourth quarter – but he didn’t. He quickly bounced it to Haslem (41% from the field), as if he could not control himself from doing so, and Udonis lobbed up the brick. Game over. LeBron’s shirt tail came out, but the monstrous head band remained. Harpring, Jazz color man, called it right – “great job Utah Jazz, for leaving Haslem open.”
But we shouldn’t blame LeBron. The inability to take that game winner appears to be a gene thing, hard wired or something – autonomic response and all of that. Must… pass… ball…
There you have it, another take from the Mac.