MIAMI – As expected, the Miami Heat theme of the day, just 14 hours after the conclusion of Game 1 of The Finals, was LeBron James‘ aggressiveness, or lack thereof.
James scored just 18 points on Thursday, the fewest he’s scored in a playoff game since the 2011 Finals. He attempted the same amount of shots (16) as Chris Bosh, and only got to the line four times. He attempted only four of the Heat’s 18 shots in the fourth quarter.
In today’s Film Study post, I addressed one possession in which James could have attacked Tim Duncan off the dribble, but instead passed back to Bosh at the 3-point line. And on the final possession of that post (Bosh’s missed three with 1:02 left), James could certainly have tried to score over Duncan.
On Friday, both James and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra were asked about the MVP’s aggressiveness and willingness to pass to his teammates.
James: “I had some more opportunities where I could have maybe been a little more aggressive or look for my shot. But I don’t want to take away from any plays I made last night. I was able to still find my guys for some shots.
“We missed some shots. We had some wide-open clips where I had two defenders guarding me. Two plays in the third quarter, I was able to find [Mario Chalmers] for two open threes that he just missed, two great shots. I found CB for four really good looks that he missed, that he’s capable of making.
“My guys are open. I’ve got this far with them, I’m not going to just abandon what I’ve been doing all year to help us get to this point. So I know those guys will be ready to shoot again once they’re open.”
Spoelstra: “He’ll do whatever it takes. He’s as a cerebral a player as there is in this league. He’ll read the game as necessary.
“I wouldn’t bet against our open shooters. So we just need to make sure we’re getting the shots that we want to.”