By Brad Thompson–
On Thursday, the Heat lost another close game, this time in epic fashion. The Heatles managed to blow a 24-point second half lead at home against the Orlando Magic.
Impressive collapse indeed.
Excuse me LeBron and Coach Spoelstra, can someone give the ball to Dwyane Wade?
How many game-winning or game-tying shots is LeBrick going to miss before Wade gets a chance?
The Heat left Chicago defeated on February 24, after LeBron didn’t even draw iron on a three-point attempt in a possible game-tying situation. Then three days later versus the Knicks, LeBron had his shot blocked by Amare Stoudemire with seven seconds left and missed a game-tying three with two seconds remaining. And finally, on Thursday night, it was LeBron, again, who clanked a triple try at the buzzer that would have tied the game against Orlando.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not rooting for the Heat. I actually enjoy watching the Big 3 struggle. It’s just hard for me to understand why LeBron is taking the clutch shots and not Wade.
Miami has all sorts of problems with blowing leads and winning against the best teams in the league. I’m not even going to touch those issues. I’m only concerned with why Wade isn’t taking the big shots.
Certainly LeBron has earned the right to take any shot he wants, he’s the two-time reigning MVP. He puts up ridiculous numbers night in and night out every season (26.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 7.1 APG his season), but if there’s a chink in his armor, it’s his lack of killer mentality and inability to hit clutch shots.
LeBron is one of the best players ever to play the game without a killer mentality. Ask fans in Cleveland if he was clutch in the biggest moments or if he shined when it mattered most.
I’m not here to criticize LeBron. He has hit some game winning shots, but his clutch shot ability doesn’t compare to Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade. The great news for him and the Heat? Wade’s a teammate.
When the Big 3 aligned in Miami this summer I thought there might be a problem with who takes the big shot. Then I thought it might all work out fine if LeBron dominates most of the game as the floor general and defers to Wade in the clutch moments.
Instead of that happening, LeBron has taken over. It’s his team now and he’s their vocal leader. Is LeBron’s ego so big that he has to be the one taking the final shot? Why can’t Spoelstra, who is familiar with how clutch Wade is, call Wade’s number? From an outsider’s perspective it almost seems like LeBron has mesmerized Spoelstra into making him the number one option at the end of the game.
The Heat are 5-12 in games decided by five points or less and are only 13-14 this season against teams that are above .500. Miami is going to need clutch baskets during the next nine games because they are all against playoff-bound teams. If Wade gets the ball, the results will be better – sorry Bron Bron.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here.
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Brad M. Thompson, a former college football player and coach, made his return to the Midwest in 2009 after fighting wildfires out West. He earned his master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and covers the Big Ten Conference and Chicago sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Brad_M_Thompson. Find more of Brad’s blogs here.