For a long time now, I've felt that if Lebron REALLY wanted/needed to, he could win any game all by himself. That he could simply BULL his way to anywhere and anything he wanted on the court, thoroughly dominating everyone. But for whatever reasons, he has rarely tried to so dominate. He prefers to defer, to get his teammates involved, to make it a TEAM GAME. He's right, of course, as we Celtics fans know very well.
In game 6, though, Lebron abandoned all thoughts of sharing responsibilities, of waiting for his teammates to get their games going. He was absolutely determined not to lose, and nothing was going to stop him, from start to finish.
How do you beat a guy that good, that determined? I thought (and hoped) he would not go to that dark seething place now. Thought he just didn't have it in him, that killer instinct. So what Lebron proved in game 6 was that yes, he certainly does have it. He'll kill you, and stomp on your grave. And he'll do it all by himself if he has to.
How do you beat a guy like that?
It would require, first of all, someone to guard LBJ and guard him very well -- looking at you, Paul Pierce... except Paul's been struggling this whole series, one made three aside. Can he somehow turn it around for game 7?
And it would take every player on this team playing at the top of his game. Can they muster that kind of effort one more time?
I don't think that's knowable, till it happens. My worry is: though I believe the team as a whole can and will rise to the occasion.... I'm not sure Paul Pierce can. Not after the series he's had so far. Whether it's injury (which must be well-hidden, if that's what's going on), or fatigue, age, ego.... it doesn't really matter. Whatever Paul's problem has been, he's got to get it solved by Saturday. If not, he will have to shoulder a lot of the blame... forever.
In Paul's defense though, he is, after all, up against the best basketball player on the planet.
Whatever comes, I think Boston can be proud of its fans. That end-of-game chant... wow. I think it moved the team. I think it moved everybody. Here's Doc and the Big 4 talking about it.
Be respectful and keep it clean. Thanks.