Mendoza: One game is what LeBron needs to do it

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, May 30, 2014


ONE game is one game. In basketball, one game doesn’t mean that much, especially if it is part of a series – as in a five-game or seven-game playoffs. A game will only matter if the crown is finally up for grabs.

I say this again in the face of the ongoing Miami-Indiana best-of-seven playoffs for the NBA Eastern Finals.

Miami holds a 3-2 edge, only because Indiana took a dramatic and thrilling 93-90 victory in Game 5 with bizarre and weird twists to it.

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LeBron James scored only seven points on 2 of 10 shooting in 24 minutes of play. How can that be? Isn’t he the best player on the planet today? I don’t remember the last time he managed only 10 points or below in his entire NBA career.

Was it because he was slapped five fouls on calls that were, well, mostly questionable?

That was a bit bizarre to say the least, if not downright weird, as those fouls were like bags of cement on LeBron’s shoulders with the game still far from completion.

Was LeBron also hypnotized by Lance Stephenson, the Indiana pest that created monstrous moves, including blowing air on LeBron’s left cheek, intruding into a Heat huddle without getting rebuked or reprimanded, and escaping with a glaring flop against LeBron with a referee almost in front of him?

And then this: Paul George scored 21 of Indiana’s total of 29 points in the fourth quarter for a game-high 37.

Was George’s guard remiss? Or was it simply one of those nights when George was extra hot, destined to break the all-time high of 20 playoff points scored in a quarter recorded by Chicago’s Michael Jordan in May 1997?

Whatever, it was just one game.

It didn’t win the series for Indiana.

It just chopped Miami’s margin to 3-2.

It just gave Indiana a new lease of life.

So, to repeat, Game 5 was just one game and no one’s dwelling on it. LeBron’s 7 points, George’s record 21 fourth-quarter points and Stephenson’s pest-filled antics are all history.

Today’s Game 6 in Miami should be it for the Heat. Watch LeBron James closely, please.

He will eat Stephenson alive. He will recapture his planet. He will own the game. One game.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 31, 2014.

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