I promise not to make this column a daily LeBron James diatribe. Really. I let the Heat's collapse against the Jazz go without so much as a tweet. I couldn't help my self this morning, however, after another Heat home loss, this time to the Celtics, when the LeBron James we all remember came out with excuses for failure, non of which involved pointing the finger right at himself.
Credit Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski with being consistent. Woj has been hard on James for years - much with the wrath of Cavaliers fans bearing down on him. What is becoming apparent, however, is that Woj was right. We found that out here in Cleveland during the Playoffs last year. Now, in Miami, they are finding it out too.
After getting buried by the Celtics, again, in a game that saw LeBron fill the stat sheet but come up small at the end, LeBron blamed not himself, no, he blamed his coach.
"For myself, 44 minutes is too much," James declared. "I think Coach Spo knows that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out."
My favorite part? LeBron drags D-Wade into the argument as well. Not only was LeBron tired at the end of the game, but Wade was as well. I'm sure Wade appreciates his BFF questioning his endurance as well.
No, LeBron never seems to take responsibility. I'll never forget his reaction to the joke that was his Game 5 performance against the Celtics. "I spoil the fans with my play." Remember that??
Look at the Heat nowadays and you see the same type of bad habits that killed the Cavaliers. LeBron and four other guys, all watching LeBron. No movement, no teamwork. It is almost as if the Heat have realized what we all knew to be true - LeBron needs the ball to be effective and his play on both ends of the floor depends on it.
The thing is, no team knows it better than the Boston Celtics. They know to just let LeBron score his points, let him hold the ball ever possession, let LeBron essentially take his teammates completely out of the game. Sure, some nights James will win those battles. Some nights his teammates will step up despite LeBron, but over the long haul - a season or seven game playoff series - it won't last.
Sure, the stat geeks will see 35-10-9 for LeBron and say his teammates let him down. Just like Cleveland. The problem is, those teammates are D-Wade and Chris Bosh. What now?
The Heat are going to win a lot of games because the balance in the NBA is so tilted. They won't win the five or six championships they so eagerly claimed back in July, among the smoke and fireworks when all of about 13,000 bandwagon-jumping Miami 'sports-fans' welcomed the Fake-3 to South Beach. With a 'leader' like LeBron James, they won't even win one.