LeBron Plays Hero Late in Miami

Conclusions from Game 1

This will be one epic series (MIA 103–IND 102 OT).

Paul George is very impressive and clutch (27 points–4 rebounds–5 assists).

LeBron James’ improvement in the clutch is taking him to a seemingly ever-increasing legendary level (30 points–10 rebounds–10 assists).

James is also unstoppable in transition and in isolations.

Indiana must make someone other than LeBron beat them.

Dwayne Wade is not healthy, but still playing well (18 points–6 rebounds–5 assists).

Frank Vogel is a good coach. So is Eric Spoelstra.

The media typically (Stephen A. Smith, Kurt Rambis, Jon Barry and some others not included) blows coaching decisions way out of proportion.

Indiana must continue to out-rebound Miami (43-38 in Game 1)

“Birdman” must continue to play well (16 points–5 rebounds)

Chris Bosh must continue to give steady play, but needs to rebound much better (17 points–2 rebounds).

Miami’s “Small 4” of Chalmers, Battier, Cole, and Allen must play better for Miami to advance and repeat (combined 19 points).

Roy Hibbert (19 pts.–9 rebs.) and George Hill (5 pts.–7 assists) are more key to the Pacers’ success than is Paul George.

Miami is the better team.

Roy Hibbert should have been in the game on the last play of the game.

Frank Vogel made a good coaching decision to leave Roy Hibbert on the bench on the last play of the game.

Yes, I meant to write both of those last two statements.

Though the overwhelming debate and remembrance from last night’s OT thriller will be Vogel’s decision to keep Roy Hibbert on the bench on that final play, the attention should be given to LeBron James’ Jordan-like moment. The complaint has always been that James doesn’t do enough of that. Well, he did it…again. He is becoming the greatest player of all time before our own eyes and we may be missing it because we are dissecting every coaching decision. Was it a bad coaching decision? I do not think so. But we cannot truly know that. After-the-fact coaching is always flawless and instead of blaming Vogel for the outcome, we would be much better off to give the proper positive attention to the greatest player on the planet.

But to defend Frank Vogel just a bit, here is his adequate, impressive, and collected answer the accusations and questions we all seem to be throwing at him via his post-game interview:

And if you are still unsatisfied, here is Kurt Rambis’ breakdown of why Vogel’s decision was viable and a good decision to make in that moment:

Still unsatisfied?…I am sure you are in good company as many sports analysts and athletes have demonstrated their disdain of Vogel’s decision–most of them in hindsight of course.


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