There’s only so much you can do to stop the best player in the world. That’s what all of us should take away from watching LeBron James’ performance in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Similar to the 2007 Finals, San Antonio dared James to beat them with his jumper.
And that he did. James went 5-10 from three and hit a long jumper above the free throw line to put the Heat up 4 with 27 seconds to go. And throughout the game the Spurs were stuck. Forced to give the 4-time MVP room for fear of being burned by the drive. No matter how hot James got, if you play the percentages, forcing a jump shot is better than letting him get to the hoop. By any standards LeBron is the best in the league. And when James hits his jump shots (his one perceived weakness), there probably isn’t a team assembled that can stop him.
The Spurs “let-em-shoot” tactic faltered even against Dwyane Wade. He was abnormally hot shooting 50% from outside the paint, masking what would otherwise be considered questionable shot selection from Wade.
Maybe consequential on its own, the Spurs shooters never got settled. Tony Parker went 3-12 from the field and generally looked all sorts of exhausted, and Danny Green went 1-12 and it appeared that the moment was way too big for him.
After all the lineup changes and strategic posturing throughout the series, the title came down to one of the most basic principles of basketball:
Who can make the most shots?