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Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

LeBron meltdown inevitable?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Everyone knows LeBron James' issues with a strong fourth quarter performance. Are we on the verge of seeing LeBron's inability to secure a championship ring take center stage in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row?

This probably wouldn't be newsworthy had LeBron not stolen the center spotlight two years ago with his "Decision" which aired on ESPN about his choice to leave Cleveland and head to Miami to team up with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade to form the "Big Three."

But he did and he touted they wouldn't win not one, not two, not three, not four, not five or six championships, but multiple championships in Miami.

Flashback to 2011 and the NBA Finals match up against the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas took the NBA Championship against Miami 4-2 in a series everybody thought might be the breakout year promised by LeBron following his departure from the Cavaliers.

Well, here we are a year later and the Heat is back in the Finals, this year against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Following a scorching hot start to game one on Tuesday night, the Heat faced yet another late game collapse and saw a surging Thunder team take game one 105-94.

It probably is worth mentioning Oklahoma City has it's own "Big Three" with youngster Kevin Durant leading the way.

Durant has arguably established himself as the best basketball player in the league and it's worth noting he's done it playing unselfish basketball.

One of the key problems that plagues the Heat is there are three players on the team who not only hog the spotlight, but also the ball.

It seems almost impossible for Bosh, James, and Wade to play team ball, instead of playing one-man ball.

The Thunder have done a somewhat decent job of establishing a late-season run utilizing most everybody they can for a win.

But here's where things get interesting.

It's the end of the season and a championship ring is on the line.

Can Kevin Durant overtake LeBron James and capture a title?

It's definitely within the realm of possibility.

Game two is huge for the Thunder if they want to really put the pressure on Miami.

A game two win for the Thunder can put Oklahoma City on top and sitting high in the series.

That being said, a game two win for Miami is a must if the Heat want to have any shot.

It's certainly not impossible for the Thunder to go up 3-0 in the series and the Heat to win four-straight to claim the crown, but it's definitely unlikely.

And with LeBron's fourth quarter crisis rearing its ugly head in game one, who knows how LeBron will play in game two.

In game one, Kevin Durant led all scorers with 36 points, while LeBron wasn't far behind with 30.

It's this writer's speculation that it will be a close series that comes down to the wire from game to game.

That being said, the Thunder can definitely capitalize on a game two win tonight.

In order for Miami to have a win in game two, Dwayne Wade has to find a way to be more effective than a 19 point performance while defensively containing the offensive monster that Kevin Durant has become.

Oh, and it'd probably help if LeBron actually showed up in the final 12 minutes. If he can't seem to do that, I hear there's a sport played on ice that only goes for three periods.

Chris Siers is the sports editor for the Times-Gazette. Email him at sports@t-g.com.

Chris Siers
The Extra Point
Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette.