LeBron James should know better than to stroll down San Antonio’s alley, head down, with his hands in his pockets. When the Spurs are defending home court in the Finals, you have to stay vigilant. James has been jumped by San Antonio's mob squad before, back in 2007, the Spurs jacked him of his first championship trophy in a sweep.
The expectation was that this time, he was ready to show San Antonio the fade and put the Duncan-Parker era to sleep (even if his supporting cast was in a slump). Prior to Game 1, photos were released of James sparring to prep himself for the Finals. He’s proving to be all bark and no bite.
James displays the mental characteristics of a classic frontrunner. Usually, he resembles a grown man in a kid's Tae Kwon Do class. He’s big enough and strong enough to win a 2-on-1 bout, but San Antonio doesn’t care. And once they cornered him, the MVP shrank into the fetal position and hid behind his flunkies. Miami’s a more intimidating bunch when James storms out the tunnel mean-mugging and looking for a fight. James came out, at halftime of Game 2, with bad intentions. A normal team would have been scarred by the experience. The Spurs don’t stress it.
San Antonio lacks the aesthetically pleasing transition game that has made Miami ESPN SportsCenter Top10 mainstays, but they taught the Heat a valuable lesson in Game 3. Don’t threaten a fight with an ugly person. They have nothing to lose and won’t back down.
Instead of going on the attack, James is flinching to guard his grill like he vividly remembers his last beatdown at the hands of the Spurs.
The Spurs are hitting James with classic old-man moves. They’re giving him the jumper until he proves he can knock it down. It’s a strategy they incorporated six years ago, when he was still a young buck, and it still works today. San Antonio ambushed Miami by rolling up nine-deep. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker didn’t even wrinkle their suits. Instead, Danny Green and Gary Neal caught the Heat by surprise. Neal busted Miami’s defense up like the second coming of Parker, and Danny Green resembled a young Ray Allen.
The Spurs punched James back in the mouth one time, took away his trademark haymaker dunks and in the process, James has seemingly lost his will to fight.
Bosh is too light to throw hands and is getting pummeled by Tim Duncan’s old-man strength.
When healthy, Wade typically leads Miami’s charge into 48-minute scraps. However, San Antonio hasn’t had to do much to suppress Wade. Injuries and the pounding he’s taken over time have left him looking like Evander Holyfield.
In Game 3, Gary Neal joined in on the assault and before James knew it, he was getting his wallet, Gucci jacket and Air Yeezy 2’s jacked. James is seeing double. It’s the only way to explain his 38 percent shooting from the field.
Aside from a 10-minute spurt in Game 2, James has been a flop all series and San Antonio’s super subs have two games left at home. This isn’t Nazr Mohammed shoving him in the chest; San Antonio won’t let up. If James doesn’t pick himself up, they’ll pummel Miami into submission.