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LeBron on verge of slaying Celtics, demons that haunted him

May 10, 2011, 11:03 AM EDT

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James yells at directions against the Boston Celtics in Boston

James Bond movies are only as good as the villain — unless there is someone who pushes Bond to new extremes, his victory is hollow. (Well, except for all the hot Bond girls.)

That need for the hero to have to reach new heights is true of all drama. It is true of sports. What is Muhammad Ali without Joe Frazier and George Forman? Magic without Bird (or Bird without Magic)? Even Michael Jordan had to get over the hurdle of the Bad Boy Pistons before he could become a legend.

For LeBron James, that has been the Celtics. His career had always seemed to fall short — it’s why he left Cleveland — and the Celtics had caused that demise two of the last three years (including last season when Clevelanders are convinced LeBron quit on them). While other teams had beaten him too, the Celtics had come to symbolize the mountain he had to climb.

And he almost did not scale it Monday — he made the amazing jumpstop layup in the final minute to give the Heat a short-lived lead, but after that was stripped by Ray Allen giving the Celtics a final chance to win in regulation. They blew it. Given a second chance in overtime, James did not.

He sounded relieved and excited after the game, as reported by Ian Thompson at Sports Illustrated.

“I looked at it as one of the biggest games of my career,” said James. “Me and D-Wade had a lot of conversation after Game 3 all the way to the tip-off today about how important this game is. I heard a stat that D-Wade had lost 11 straight in this building. I haven’t had much success in this building. So we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try to do whatever it took to help our team win this ballgame.”

There is a long way to go. Unlike the Lakers, the Celtics are not going to roll over and die in their closeout game. They will play harder and better than they have all series. Then there will be the conference finals, then the finals. None of it easy, most of it harder than this.

But for LeBron, it’s feeling like a breakthrough.

  1. bloggingainteazzy - May 10, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    This was an important game towards Lebron’s legacy. If they would have lost after he got stripped, he would have been ripped mercilessly. I’m glad they closed it out quickly in overtime.

  2. ibleedaquaorange - May 10, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    “None of it easy, most of it harder than this.”

    False on the EC Finals (you seen the Bulls lately?). Potentially true for Finals.

  3. mondzy805 - May 10, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    What. This guy ran from Cleveland ( being the man), and went to Miami ( side kick) and somehow is getting all the credit, for riding Wade back. I don’t get the Media. You all must work for Nike, to give us this propaganda. What a joke. Nobody gave Scottie Pippen this much credit, ever. What a joke and same on the writer of this article.

    • cordae - May 10, 2011 at 10:11 PM


      I take it you think this is a joke…?

  4. cosanostra71 - May 10, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    LeBron “slaying demons that haunted him”? I think you mean Dwyane Wade is on the verge of slaying LeBron’s demons that haunt him for him. He has consistently been the best player on the team throughout the year. Without Wade, the Heat are no different than last year’s Cavs.

    • torotrigger - May 10, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      youre an idiot…wow. did you watch any of these games? lebron is setting up almost the entire offense every time down the court, but i will say that the way the Heat are attacking the rim when it gets down to crunch time is flat-out impressive, i didnt think theyd develop that killer instinct that they have, which i definitely attribute to playing/being around Riley and Wade. cant wait for the next round as Boston is clearly done and getting ready to join the other old-world powerhouses.

      • cosanostra71 - May 11, 2011 at 11:01 PM

        Dwyane Wade has directly led to more wins this year than LeBron has. Without Wade, this Heat team would be last year’s Cavs all over again.

    • simplelogic67 - May 10, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      I really don’t think the mj and pippen comparison is apt for dwade and lebron. They are both crucial to the team, with neither one being a clear cut sidekick (like pippen was clearly 2 to mj’s 1). You can make the case for either player being better, but on any given night either one could play better than the other. Calling lebron a “sidekick” when he led the league in PER and is the most versatile defender in the league is hard to justify.

  5. nfl25 - May 10, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Sorry but whatever the heat does will not have the same feel as a normal champ, if they win it this year. You got the two best players in the world on one team and then added bosh who would be the best player on most nba teams. Then D wade sweeps rondo’s legs

    when he is least expecting it and makes him one armed for the rest of the series. Not to mention the first two games of each series are always in Miami and Dwade and Lebron get every call u can imagine, so they obviously start out 2-0 and the other team has to dig its way out. I am not a Celtics fan and I am not a hater, but if I liked the heat I wouldn’t be able to really enjoy it if they won it this year. Next year could be a different feel

    • southbeachtalent - May 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Exactly.. whatever they do- win or lose they will be criticized.

      At the begining of the year it was the chemistry issue, before that it was their lack of depth. If they win well….ofcourse they should they have the best team (without a bench or chemistry I guess). Confusing?? So keep on bringing the hate we are feeding off of it.

      As far as your D Wade comment.. well its plain rediculous. The Celtics are whining after being the most physical and dirty team in the league, pathetic. Atleast go out with some dignity. I wouldn’t be surprised if Garnett goes out with a flagrant Bynum style.

      We obviously start 2-0….WOW really. Tell you what keep watching our games and make them the most watched team in NBA history!

      Oh and yes you are a hater..

      • nfl25 - May 10, 2011 at 6:00 PM

        u gotta expect the critisism. if you take the best players and put them on one team, every team you play is the underdog. the only thing i dont like about the heat is that they complain to the refs non stop. imagine if a 8th grade team was playing a 6th grade team and the 8th grade team was constantly crying saying they were fouled or they didnt foul. i had no problem with them till i seen them crying. they have the best players in the world on one team, why u gotta cry like that? honestly i think d wade is a stud, he is unstoppable, but he did that to rondo purposely, there is no denying that if u watch it slo mo

    • tommy972 - May 10, 2011 at 7:07 PM

      What Miami is doing is not the same as the Celtics adding Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett? What about the Lakers adding Pau Gasol? Stfu and stop hating. The Heat don’t even have a bench!

  6. nfl25 - May 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    this Kurt helin guy seems like he is in love wit the heat, is he a 14 year old girl?

    • southbeachtalent - May 10, 2011 at 4:31 PM

      feel free to read other Non-Heat related articles…..HATER!!

      Gulp, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp cant get enough hatorade can ya’!!

      • cosanostra71 - May 11, 2011 at 11:03 PM

        and you’re not riding the Heat at all, now are you? Probably could have said the same about the Cavs last year too…

  7. bloggingainteazzy - May 10, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    I don’t understand the MJ/Pippen comparison for LBJ/Wade..Lebron is the best the League and Wade is a great leader . But the gap isn’t as great between Lebron and Wade as it was between Mike and Scottie.

  8. dgbk - May 10, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    If he won with the cavs i would agree but he ran and got back up not really slaying demons eve. Though he has been playing great not the same not like when jordans bulls finally got pass the bad boys

    • southbeachtalent - May 11, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      wow im dizzy…..

  9. gmsingh - May 11, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Is one of those “demons” having a two hour TV show to announce what team he’s going to play for? He can slay all the demons he wants, he’ll still be a gasbag without any rings.

    • southbeachtalent - May 11, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      If he would have picked your team you would have been OK with it, no?

      Get over it, move on with your life. Or buy tickets to go booo him everytime he comes into town.. that will make you feel better.

  10. coltsfanindc - May 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    nfl25 is 100% authentic hater. wade swept rondos legs??? did u see the play or just imagined it? rondo actually grabbed wades waist 1st. dwayne reacted…..ahhh why am i waisting my time. u probably one of those ppl who wanted the President to show his birth certificate. lol

  11. fouldwimmerlaik - May 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    No matter what the Heat do this year, Lebron will still be a dick.

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