INDIANAPOLIS — This was Sinatra and Dino holding it down while Sammy called in sick. Or Moe and Larry getting yuks by themselves because Curly suffered a serious injury from a poke in the eye.
Left without Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade steamrolled the Pacers. Two men were two much. That’s it, folks. There’s no need to look too deep to figure how the Heat won in six. Wade scored 41 on Thursday in the clincher, and LeBron started this run with 40 points and 18 rebounds in Game 4. This was a combination a locksmith couldn’t solve, much less the Pacers.
The last three games, when Miami turned this series around, LeBron Wade scored 70, 58 and 69 points. Isn’t that what the Bobcats get on three good nights? Two guys played at MVP level and did it entertainingly at that, throwing up highlights left and right. Hope you enjoyed it, even if you hate the Heat, because this type of three-game stretch doesn’t come ’round here often.
This was pure brilliance, and dominance, and greatness. And don’t let your disgust for the Heat, if you still haven’t gotten over it yet, blind you to what you just witnessed.
Come to think of it, Bosh’s abdominal strain worked out fine for us spectators, because it allowed us to see LeBron Wade at his very and truly best. Dunks, steals, lobs, blocks, downcourt sprints, you name it, they gave it. And you know why?
“They had to give us more,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “I don’t know if they’ve ever been required to give us as much responsibility, with Chris out. This series bRought out the best in both of them because they knew what it would take.”
Along with his 41 points in Miami’s 105-92 Game 6 win, Wade delivered 10 rebounds. Curiously, it was his lack of hustle that led Spoelstra to confront Wade in Game 3, which led to the now-infamous blowup. Well, Wade was both lost and found in Indiana. When you count the second half of Game 4, and all four quarters Thursday, Wade was the best player in town. But only by a smidge.
Because, as we saw, LeBron wasn’t so bad himself.
“We both had to do things a little bit better,” said Wade.
Has he ever seen two teammates run like this?
“When you talk about three games, two guys being as dominant as we have, the way we played off each other … “
He didn’t finish the thought. Didn’t have to.
Sure, lots of us weren’t around for Jerry and Elgin, but we will have Games 4 through 6 emblazoned on our brains until two others come along to make these memories foggy. Whenever that will happen.
“Some of those shots they made were crazy,” said Pacers guard Paul George. “Hand in their face. Off one foot. A whole lot of those shots were contested. Sometimes by two of us. They made them anyway. Sometimes you just got to give people their due.”
LeBron Wade averaged 49 points during the season. They upped not only their scoring, but everything else considerably, once the burden increased with Bosh out. Points, rebounds, defense, it would be very hard to say LeBron Wade wasn’t the best all-around player of the entire playoffs so far.
Yes. So far.
Because, with Bosh still iffy, we’re left to wonder what’s coming next from these two.