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LeBron’s Game 7 history shows he needs help for Heat to advance

Jun 3, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

Monday night is just number four. For some reason it feels like LeBron James has been in more Game 7s in his career, but there have been just three. Two came with the Cavaliers, one with the Heat last season.

And if you are going to draw one conclusion from those three games and extrapolate it ahead to Monday night’s Game 7 between the Heat and Pacers it is this:

LeBron needs help if the Heat are going to win.

In Miami’s three wins against the Pacers they have averaged about 21 assists, in the three losses it is 13. There are two parts to an assist — making the pass and the guy who gets the pass knocking down the shot. In Miami’s wins LeBron dishes, the ball moves and guys like Udonis Haslem hit shots. But in the losses the shots don’t fall from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, so LeBron takes on more himself and the Heat become easier to defend.

That was the case in LeBron’s other three Game 7s.

May 21, 2006: Pistons 79, Cavaliers 61: LeBron had 27 points on 24 shots against a good Pistons’ defense, but the rest of the Cavaliers combined to shoot 22 percent for the game (9-for-41). That was a Cavaliers team that had LeBron and then Larry Hughes and Zydrunas Ilgauskas as the next two scorers, it really was the LeBron show. Those Pistons advanced to the Eastern Conference finals where they fell to the eventual champions Dwyane Wade and the Miami Het.

May 18, 2008: Celtics 97, Cavaliers 91: Again LeBron had a monster game — 45 points on 29 shots. Again only one other Cavaliers player was in double-digits, Delonte West with 15. The other Cavaliers shot 42 percent overall. The Celtics had balance — Paul Pierce traded shots with LeBron and had 41 points, but big men Kevin Garnett (13) and P.J. Brown (10 off the bench) were the difference.

June 9, 2012: Heat 101, Celtics 88: This win last year completed the Heat’s comeback from 0-2 down in the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron got help in this one — he had 31 points on 21 shots, but Wade had 23 and Shane Battier 12, and Chris Bosh chipped in 19 off the bench. The ball moved and they won — the good Celtics defense couldn’t stop the Heat offense that day.

June 3, 2013: Heat vs. Pacers: LeBron is going to need help. Look for him to try and get teammates involved early, but if things are not going right LeBron will take on more and more of the offensive scoring load. And when that happens the Pacers will be better able to defend Miami, and the spiral will continue.

But if other guys — especially Bosh, knocking down shots that force David West and Roy Hibbert out of the paint to contest his shot — get going, Miami will win. As a team.

  1. reesesteel23 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    The past is the past. I couldnt be more ready for this game!

  2. miamatt - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    It will be interesting to see if somebody on the Heat besides LBJ can get going early. If not, this one is a dogfight and anybody’s game.

  3. fanofthegame79 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Miami by 12 or more points tonight.

    • gmen4life33 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      No way. Close game, then Refs give few calls MIA’s way late and game over. And please no delusional Heat fans saying this isnt true. MIA vs SAS sets records, IND vs SAS worst ratings in 10 years.

      Stern picks what Refs ref the big games, and advance in there career. NOT and independent source that looks over film and grades their officiating. Just Stern. Refs know Stern wants big market team in Finals for ratings (Actual Stern quote back in the day “My dream Finals would be Lakers Celtics every years).

      So as a Ref, you know what your boss wants, you know your boss decides how far your career advances (based on no facts, just his liking). 50/50 call at end of Pacers/Heat game 7. you are the Ref, WHO ARE YOU GIVING THE CALL TO??

      If you want to Ref next years ECF, you give the call to the Heat. I hate both teams, just hope the fans get a Game 7 where its obvious the best team won.

      • mrwrightsdad - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        In game 1 pretty sure it was a 50/50 call on a foul on Wade on a 30 footer from George and gave him 3 free throws to take the lead with 2 seconds left. Kind of like that?

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        I don’t disagree with you about who the league wants to win tonight and who the league wants in the Finals. But I still think the Heat win by 12 or more. I’ve been saying for a week or more on this site that the NBA needed this to go 7 games since the WCF were so low in the ratings. I also agree that a Pacers – Spurs Finals would be terrible for the league and the ratings/revenue. The Heat – Spurs has so many story lines including “LeBron takes revenge on the Spurs for sweeping him and the Cavs”.

      • borderline1988 - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        Looking over the course of this series, there is just no way you can argue that the refs have been biased in Miami’s favour. I’m not saying they are biased the other way, just they have not been favouring Miami like you haters always like to complain about.

  4. jbeagles23 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    I love the heat but this is a team game. We can write off wade stepping up but I do see bosh taking advantage of his quickness and having a solid game also chalmers has had 3 straight solid games. I tht keeps up with a more aggressive bosh I say the heat run away with it

  5. ccshocktalk - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    The method to beating LeBron is having LeBron beat LeBron. By defending the heck out of his teammates so they can’t get in a rhythm forces LeBron to alienate his teammates so they can’t get in a rhythm even when they are open.

    Look for the Pacers to force LeBron to shoulder the weight and probably lose. If LeBron can be a Magic Johnson kind of guy instead of a Michael Jordan kind of guy they could advance to the NBA Finals where they’ll eventually lose to the Spurs.

  6. scmems07 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    all i want is everyone in the media, and i mean everyone, to admit that they were wrong for once. all the media said that this was not going to be a series and miami was going to have a cakewalk to thier next title, now all i hear is that wade is hurt and bosh is hurt and refs are affecting the game blah blah blah, they knew wade was hurt before the series, he has been a non factor in the playoffs, bosh hurt his ankle, but he hasnt played well either before this series, fact is that the heat are old, lebron cant do it by himself and the pacers are just as good if not better than the heat. just admit that you were wrong and your basketball i.q’s are not as high as you would like them to be.

    • reesesteel23 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      I could have sworn Everyone said Indiana was the only team that stood a chance against Miami. What did I miss?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Yeah…they said that AFTER Lebron won game #1 at the buzzer and the Pacers won Game #2. But…carry on.

  7. cantonbound13 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Tim Donoghey isn’t walking through the door bandwagoners.

  8. jbeagles23 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Nobody sad Indy was bad and it was a cakewalk. But anyone who has watched the heat up to this series can see they’re off. It’s not wade nt even bosh that surprises me. It’s battier an Allen. An do not say its the pacers defence slowing them down. They’re missing wide open shots. Only a naive fan can see a team like the heat dominate they did this year then say the pacers are better cause of this series ( that the pacers haven’t even won) just like the win streak didn’t define the season either does this season. If the heat played their a game an the pacers played there’s te heat win everytime

    • davidly - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Indiana won the regular season series and one of the games led to Miami’s lowest offensive output of the season back in January, a level they didn’t fall to until two nights ago when they played– who was that? Oh, yeah–the Pacers.

    • ccshocktalk - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      The only person here that is naive is you. If you can’t give the Pacers defense credit for disrupting the flow of the Miami offense then you have issues. The last time Miami got handed a whooping was…in Indiana. The Bulls showed everyone last series, play defense, get physical and knock them out of their comfort zone and they’ll miss shots they typically hit. The Heat miss shots when the pressure is on…those open shots may be “easy buckets” when they’re open against the Bucks…but anyone who has played competitively knows it can get to your head that you know a defender is out there and is chasing you down…I don’t see too many Pacers standing around and not running out to contest a shot whether they’re 2 feet away or 20 feet away…someone is hustling to contend that shot.

      ” If the heat played their a game an the pacers played there’s te heat win everytime”

      And in case you missed it, this is Indiana basketball. This isn’t a fluke series that Indiana just happened to get good…they just exposed that Miami can’t handle the “heat” and need to stay out of the kitchen.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      YOU talked smack the entire time beagles. Only now (when your boys are on the ropes)…are you backpedaling. You better hope they don’t call a straight up game like they did in Game #6. Cause’ you can take it to the bank. They call a straight up game the Pacers are winning.
      Go Pacers!

  9. joestemme - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Well, it seems as if LeFlop has already gotten a little “help” from the league at least as far as his pocket book is concerned. Where’s the fine for his obvious Emmy-Nominated flop in Game 6??????

    The league (properly) fined Hibbert virtually the second the words came out of his mouth, but, still no fine for the Le Flopperu?

  10. golfrangeman - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Scmems could you be specific? Who said it would be a cake walk? Because I’ve watched dozens of shows and haven’t heard one person in the media use the term cake walk as a matter of fact most said 6 or 7. I think you need to get your facts strait.

  11. mysterious - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    “This win last year completed the Heat’s comeback from 0-2 down in the Eastern Conference Finals”

    What series were you watching? Heat went up 2-0, lost 3 straight, then won game 6 (LBJ’s signature win in Boston with something like 46 points) and 7.

  12. motobus - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    You really think games from five plus years ago have any relevance to this upcoming game?

    • mrwrightsdad - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      They are just there to show why he left Cleveland

  13. taintedlombardis - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Bron Bron is going to get plenty of help tonight. From the officials. Stern will never allow a Pacers Spurs final…

  14. drewdatwit84 - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Yes I do! I believe the league and fans care about storylines dating as far back as 5 years ago. Because when this Miami Heat faced the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, THAT was a rematch with a storyline the media wouldn’t shut up about. A rematch from a 2006 Heat-Mavericks Finals matchup that happened…. hmm, let me get my math correct here… uh yeah, FIVE YEARS AGO.

  15. JHathwell - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Since when were the Heat down 0-2 in last year’s ECF?

    You got that one backwards, brother.

  16. dcperin - Jun 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    I’m not even a Heat fan and can tell that something is off about them. Miami is playing the worst basketball of the Big 3 era and are still in a position to make it to the finals. Miami is playing like crap and it could still take the Pacers 7 games to win this series. Anyone with eyes can see Miami is the better team. I wouldn’t credit the Pacers for anything. If Wade & Bosh averaged what they normally do this series would already be over. Wade playing like crap has nothing to do with the pacers anyway. He’s played bad since b4 the Playoffs started.

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