Skip to content

LeBron says he ‘went back to his Cleveland days’ during third quarter of Game 5

May 31, 2013, 11:53 AM EDT

lebron cleveland jersey

LeBron James was spectacular during the third quarter of the Heat’s Game 5 win over the Pacers, and took the game over in large part because he had no choice.

During a tight first half, Indiana’s defense stifled Miami’s role players, while James preferred to be more passive in passing up open looks in a desperate attempt to get others involved.

Once that didn’t work, it was James against the world, and as we’ve seen so many times in the past, he was able to deliver when his team needed him most in a way that few others can.

The third quarter performance was reminiscent of his days with the Cavaliers, when James had far less pure talent on his roster than he does now in Miami. And he wasn’t afraid to say as much afterward.

“Yeah, I kind of just went back to my Cleveland days at that point and just said, hey, let’s try to make more plays and be more of a scoring threat as well, and just try to figure out a way that I can ‑‑ I don’t know, just see if the guys would just follow me, and just lead them the best way I could,” James said.

“I was just in attack mode in the third quarter, look for my shot,” he added. “And luckily I was able to make some.”

There are a lot of ways to spin this, of course — there’s the possibility of people leaping to the conclusion that James is comparing Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to the likes of Zydrunas Ilgauskus and Larry Hughes, and there are the conspiracy theorists that will look to the mere mention of Cleveland as some sign that James is seriously considering a return to the Cavaliers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent again in the summer of 2014.

But we prefer to focus on reality.

The Heat got nothing out of Wade and Bosh in Game 5, but it wasn’t due to a lack of talent or shriveling under the pressure. Both are battling injuries to some degree — Wade has seemingly lost all of his speed and lift due to an ailing knee, making him not much more than an ineffective decoy out there offensively, and Bosh is battling an ankle injury that seemed to limit him, as well.

The good news for the Heat is that LeBron is capable of turning back the clock and remembering what it takes to singlehandedly win games at the highest level. He may need to do that once more in this series to return to the Finals if he continues to get minimal contributions from his supporting cast — just like he did during those Cleveland days.

  1. bigbenh8tr - May 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    won’t watch a game of the finals if the heat are in it

    • mikejd12 - May 31, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      nobody cares if you are or aren’t. GO HEAT!

      • pacersfan1 - May 31, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        FRONTRUNNER!!!!!!!!

      • pacerfan2013 - May 31, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        Yeah, as Pacersfan1 said, FRONTRUNNER!

      • pacerfan2013 - May 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I’ll try and explain the joke here: Pacersfan1, accused the Heat fan of being a front runner. Likewise, Pacerfan2013 (as in a Pacers fan in the year 2013) also accused the heat fan of being a front runner. See it’s funny because the Pacers are close to the front now. Ah forget it, I’m done trying to be funny on the internet.

    • elcapitanfiscal - May 31, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Well you are reading articles that talk about the heat and you even posted on it…

      Yea i bet you will be watching the finals as well. Love him or hate him you cant take your eyes off king james

    • cantonbound13 - May 31, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Don’t worry, David Stern knows this. He will make sure the Heat are in the Finals.

    • dannymac17 - May 31, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      yea and it seriously bothers me and the rest of the country if you dont said noone ever

  2. coltsfreek - May 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    While the rest of the team plays like a bunch of thugs.

    • miamarino - May 31, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Lets not forget what started this whole “thug” thing. Last yr, Danny “fake-tough-guy” Granger & his antics. Pacers started it, Heat just finishing it. Not right but it is what it is.

  3. hwatt - May 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Throwing the team under than LeBron express! Now that’s what kobe and mj would do. Chew you the hell out if you weren’t playing to expectations

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 31, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Wade’s not doing it offensive, but he makes plays and he’s still a very good defender. Bosh? Well I love Bosh, but it’s clear he wants no part of this series. I think he’s passing the ball back to LeBron faster than I would. I think he just hopes we win so we can pick on someone his own size next series.

    Last night was euphoric, but it wasn’t that way at halftime. I gotta tell you I was thinking we were done. This is just such a bad matchup for us. Easy to puff our chests now because of the result, but the Pacers have absolutely dictated this entire series. Even last night, they want LeBron shooting 3s and long 2s. They want UD shooting 9 times. We only scored 90 points.

    Only difference was that they FINALLY couldn’t score. They’re not a goidboffensivevteam but they played like they were the best offense in the league for 4.25 games. Once they started playing closer to their offensive average, they just couldn’t keep up.

    It’s a testament to the Pacers for sure, but Ibtjink it’s a bigger testament to the Heat. If the Heat win this series, they would have beaten a team with supreme talent at the very positions the Heat are vulnerable, and they would have beaten them at their own game. THAT, my friends, is why this team isn’t just playing for this years trophy; the Heat are playing for History.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 31, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      That was a good post, my man.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 31, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        Thanks. Moment of clarity

    • badintent - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:11 AM

      Moment of Brilliance

    • hickoryhigh - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      I agree with the first part of your post, but two things at the end I think you’re dead wrong on. For one, where is this “supreme talent”? Hibbert? He’s playing well, and beyond himself, but he’s not great. It’s not like they are playing the Shaq/Kobe Lakers. Hibbert is putting up 20/12; Shaq would put up 30/16 easily. And the Pacers game is team basketball, good defense, good rebounding. How are the Heat beating them at that game? LeBron has been carrying the Heat by himself (no team), the Pacers are scoring way above average on them (defense?), and they are getting out rebounded like crazy (how many boards does Bosh have?). This is a good Pacers team, but they are missing one of their best players, and beating them is in no way an historical achievement. This Heat team isn’t playing for history, they are struggling to get a title that they were already preordained to receive.

  5. reedme16 - May 31, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    The Heat go from soft to thugs. But when the Bulls or Pacers are beating on the Heat they are just whiney. Hahahaha you haters are hell! Pacers aren’t helpless. They give just as much as they get

  6. golfrangeman - May 31, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Big Ben hater no one cares if you watch the finals. The NBA doesn’t need haters like you anyway. So after Saturday you can turn the T.V off and cry yourself to sleep

  7. peanutele24 - May 31, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Bigbenh8tr no one cares if you watch or don’t . At least your Tru to self with yo hate thou. Congrats!

  8. funktron2x - May 31, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    LBJ was the best player on the court in 2007, too. My point: Heat are not beating San Antonio if LBJ has to play hero ball and the other Heat don’t play like they have all year.

    • kinggw - May 31, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Assuming the Heat advance to the Finals, they will be fine. San Antonio doesnt create the same matchup problems that Indiana brings. The Pacers are also a far better defensive team than the Spurs.

      Last year, people made a mistake of underestimating the Heat based on their ECF performance. After facing the top 5 defenses of Chicago and Indiana, what could the Spurs throw at them that they haven’t seen before?

      • savvybynature - May 31, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        Pacers far better than the Spurs on defense? Pacers 1st in defensive efficiency this season, the Spurs were 3rd. Better, sure, but not by as much as you think…
        What could the Spurs throw at them that they haven’t seen before? How about an elite offense led by experienced veterans. What are the Heat gonna throw at Parker, Duncan and Ginobili that they haven’t seen before?

  9. digitaldonnie - May 31, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    I love all these diehard heat fans…bwwwhaaahaaahaa. None of you watcjed the Heat till they got LeBron. Call me a hater, but I can’t call you a true basketball fan.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 31, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      …I was a big Shaq fan so I’ve been front-running since then. Take that!

    • newellyoung - May 31, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      If I’m from Cleveland and now a heat fan is that ok?

  10. magic407 - May 31, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    It aint over til its over… I’m not a Heat fan but I’m from Orlando… so its all Florida to me… but I do want to see the Pacers make it … them boys along with Frank V have had a tremendous season thus far!

  11. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 31, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Wade’s not doing it offensively, but he makes plays and he’s still a very good defender. Bosh? Well I love Bosh, but it’s clear he wants no part of this series. I think he’s passing the ball back to LeBron faster than I would. I think he just hopes we win so we can pick on someone his own size next series.

    Last night was euphoric, but it wasn’t that way at halftime. I gotta tell you I was thinking we were done. Pacers are just such a bad matchup for us. Easy to puff our chests now because of the result, but the Pacers have absolutely dictated this entire series. Even last night, they want LeBron shooting 3s and long 2s. They want UD shooting 9 times. We only scored 90 points.

    Only difference was that they FINALLY couldn’t score. They’re not a goidboffensivevteam but they played like they were the best offense in the league for 4.25 games. Once they started playing closer to their offensive average, they just couldn’t keep up.

    It’s a testament to the Pacers for sure, but I think it’s a bigger testament to the Heat. If the Heat win this series, they would have beaten a team with supreme talent at the very positions the Heat are vulnerable, and they would have beaten them at their own game. THAT, my friends, is why this team isn’t just playing for this years trophy; the Heat are playing for History.

  12. 13arod - May 31, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    i noticed it for the past 2 games he went to the old lebron

  13. steelerfanforlife - May 31, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Bulla Fan here and resident Heat hater: Lebron was a beast last night! Sits for 1 minute in the 4th with Wade and Bosh on the floor and Pacers get within 8, he comes back and they never get close again! Great performance. Wade and Bosh are just plain terrible this series and without Lebron the Heat would’ve been swept! I don’t think the Heat can get away with that versus the Spurs though.

  14. cantonbound13 - May 31, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    LeBron got screwed. Wade knew he was done, Bosh is a pansy & they both convinced him to go to Miami & carry them.

    • soflasfinest - May 31, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      The only one who got screwed was your mom…literally. Then she for screwed again by having such a d bag for a son. Smh, I feel her pain. Go heat!

      • cubb1 - May 31, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Mom insults, what are you 10 or 11 years old?

      • cantonbound13 - May 31, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Classless bandwagoner. You’ll be history in a couple of years & once again your arena will be empty.

      • gmsingh - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        sofiasfinest, yo mama’s so fat even Chris Bosh can drive to the lane around her.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 31, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Look at you now. For years, you were chirping how LeBron couldn’t do it on his own, that he needed Wade & Bosh, that he’ll never be the man, that he’ll never be “Jordan”.

      Now, all of a sudden; you’re chirping that Wade and Bosh suck and LeBron has to do it all on his own, and what?

      Should have spent the last 3 years enjoying what we have here rather that rooting against them. You really wasted a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sucks for you.

  15. cubb1 - May 31, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    If Lebron has to keep doing all of the work, he’ll quit on Miami just like he did in Cleveland.

    • melkipershero - May 31, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      The game he “quit” he had a triple double. Everyone knew the Celtics threw everything at Lebron because no one else was capable.

      • fanofthegame79 - May 31, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        I never understood the crap he got after that game. He left it all out on the floor. Was he upset at being on a terrible team…probably. Did his body language show he knew he couldn’t win…probably. But his game did not suffer for it.

  16. edwardemanuelson - May 31, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    It doesn’t matter if you watch the finals, or don’t watch them. Any low ratings will just get blamed on the Spurs anyway. Everyone knows emperor Stern hates when they make it.

  17. golfrangeman - May 31, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Cubb1 based on your theory anyone that’s had more than one job is a quitter.

  18. golfrangeman - May 31, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Would you call MJ a quitter? He left to go play baseball then left and went to the wizards. LBJ spent 7 years with a team that was not willing to surround him with enough talent to win a championship and got a lot of crap from people like you for not winning. He fulfills his contract ( wins 2 MVPs ) moves on wins a title,2 more MVPs. That doesn’t sound like a quitter to me.

  19. patfic15 - May 31, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    So he quit on the team? No? OK.

  20. badintent - Jun 1, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Screw the hoops, I just wanna go marlin fishing in the Keys with LBJ on his yacht.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Handing out NBA's postseason awards
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Williams (3742)
  2. K. Love (3697)
  3. D. Wade (3673)
  4. L. James (3672)
  5. S. Curry (3490)
  1. C. Anthony (3250)
  2. R. Rondo (3108)
  3. G. Dragic (3007)
  4. R. Westbrook (2969)
  5. K. Durant (2833)