Viewers witnessed two important factors last night during game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat & Indiana Pacers. One being how the Pacers as a unit out played, and out hustled the Heat to means that make you question just how much effort the Heat put into that game last night.
The heart, and grit the Pacers showed on their home court was key to their play. Indiana with their season on the line was sensational, specifically Paul George (28 pts, 8 rebs, 5 ast), and Roy Hibbert (24 pts, 11 rebs) who lead their team to a 91-77 victory over the defending champions.
The second factor that led to the result of last nights game took 4-time MVP LeBron James (29 pts, 7 rebs, 6 ast) down memory lane. Hall of Famer Reggie Miller said it best during his commentating of the game as he labeled the Heat team we saw on the floor during game 6 as the "Miami Cavaliers". That instantly became the hot phrase on the web, trending world wide on twitter, etc. However the former Pacers great was right as LeBron found himself back as a Cavalier for game 6.
Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh who everyone considers to be 2/3 of Miami's "Big 3" had two of the worst performances players could have in a game that was essentially your shot to clinch a spot in the 2013 NBA Finals.
Wade who hasn't scored (or impacted the game) like the Dwyane Wade of old finished with only 10 pts of off 3-11 shooting. Bosh finished the night with 5 pts of off 1-8 shooting, and only grabbing 4 rebs. The rest of the team simply couldn't provide the boost needed to get the win.
For Heat fans it was painful to watch, for Indiana fans it was the greatest thing on TV in a long time, and for Cavalier fans (that keep an open mind) it was a reminder of what they watched for 7 years in the post season.
A super human effort, and performance by the best player in the world combined with a sub par effort all around by his teammates. However this isn't supposed to happen, and Miami took the measures to ensure it never would. The key free agency moves, getting the big 3, and putting talent around that core. All of that, and LeBron still found himself back in the same position he was in 2-3 years ago.
It's easy for some to say "Well LeBron can't win by himself" or "He didn't do enough". Then again that would be a very poor position seeing as how throughout the history of the NBA the best players have always had great supporting cast surrounding them in order to win championships. And as far as LeBron's effort in this series he has been nothing short of sensational averaging 28.5 ppg, 7.2 rebs, 5.5 ast, & all while shooting .516% from the field. And if that wasn't enough James has out scored both Wade & Bosh combined the entire series with 171 points to their 136 points.
Adjustments need to be made, and being in Miami for this deciding game 7 Monday night will also be in favor for the Heat. However what this team really needs is to get away from the post season nightmares LeBron thought he left behind. James needs help, the type of help he thought he'd be getting when he left his home town team two summers ago. Surely LeBron didn't make that decision for the nice weather, or beautiful Miami beaches. He did it for championships, we all remember that quote "Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, Not 5...".
Time to see what this team is made of. We've questioned LeBron, and quite frankly he's answered. We know what to expect from him Monday night with an NBA title chance on the line. It's up to the his teammates to put forth that championship effort, and it's up to the guy that convinced him to leave Cleveland in Dwyane Wade to help lead the charge. With their legacy on the line we'll see if the Heat can right all their wrongs.
Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat & Indiana Pacers will be on Monday, June 3rd at 8:30pm ET. Broadcasted by the TNT Network.