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LeBron James Hits Game Winner; Air Ball Layup Gets More Shine

Scrappy Orlando kept things interesting on Saturday night at American Airlines Arena in Miami. The in-state Magic played like they were at home, jumping out to a 16-point halftime lead over the 2-time defending champs. LeBron James and the Heat came back in the end and James hit the eventual game winner; except, all anyone wanted to talk about was his air ball on a layup attempt in the first quarter.

We totally understand why this is the case. LeBron James is the best player in the world, and a lot of (naive) fans even think he’s in the discussion for GOAT already. So when a player of that caliber throws up an air ball on a point-blank shot, it’s similar to seeing a shooting comet four different times in the same night.

But lets not forget LeBron hit a midrange jumper with the score tied at 99, under 20 seconds left in the game and the shot clock about to expire. LeBron didn’t pass, and he didn’t drive to the basket, but instead relied on a midrange game that hasn’t normally been his strong suit over the years.

Except, like game 7 against the Spurs back in June, LeBron has improved on that midrange J, and it’s a testament to all his hard work he again used it in a big moment — although not even close to the big shot he drained over Duncan towards the end of Game 7. That’s what we took away from this Magic game, though, not the air ball on the layup when he found himself too far under the rim in the first quarter. LeBron can beat you in so many different ways now, it’s getting hard to find chinks in the armor.

And yet, there was LeBron’s air ball on ESPN’s Not Top 10:

It comes with the territory, we suppose. People get sick of the accolades and grasp to those moments when ‘Bron becomes human again.

What do you think?

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