In my pre-playoffs edition of the LBJ Hate Index, I ranked the 10 most likely obstacles to LeBron winning his second ring this season, taking another step towards basketball’s innerest circle in the process. No. 1, of course, was LeBron himself — as fearful as I am of the man, I always believe him to be the person most in control of his own destiny — and more specifically, “Whatever weird stuff happened with LeBron during his handful of prior playoff meltdowns.” I wrote the following in explanation:
That guy can’t be completely dead and gone, can he? Sure, LeBron seems like he’s “clutch” now, and he’s figured out when to “take over” and all that other nonsense. But there must be a little bit of 2010 LeBron remaining, right? Something that can be triggered, and cause him to act weirdly passive and inert during big games and big moments as his team and the world crumples around him?
Last night, the San Antonio Spurs absolutely steamrolled the Miami Heat, running them off the AT&T Center floor to the tune of a 113-77 final. This isn’t as big a deal as it would be if the Heat hadn’t essentially done the same thing to the Spurs the game before in Miami, rocking them 103-84 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final 19-point margin would indicate. But it’s still a pretty big deal. It’s by far their biggest loss of the season —