On the final possession of last night’s game between the Heat and the Pacers, Miami trailed by two with a chance to either send the game into overtime or end the series with a three. LeBron James drove to the basket and found Chris Bosh in the corner for a three-point attempt that would have clinched the series. It turns out that was exactly what LeBron told Roy Hibbert he would do before the play even happened.
Via Pacers.com reporter Scott Agness, Hibbert recalled his conversation with LeBron before the final play:
“I asked him straight up right before the play. I was like, ‘You gonna pass to Bosh?” And he said if I’m in the paint he will. We were just joking around. I thought he was going to the basket and I tried to help my teammate out and those guys covered for me.”
Hibbert was also asked if he was surprised LeBron passed up a chance to shoot:
“In my mind, I was like, ‘Maybe they might go for the win with the three.’ He’s the best player in the world so you got to honor both.”
LeBron made the right decision on the play. Indiana’s star in Game 5, Paul George, agrees:
"LeBron is the smartest player in this league. He's going to make the right play." – Paul George
— Holly MacKenzie (@stackmack) May 29, 2014
Instead of forcing up a contested shot over Hibbert, he found his teammate for a better look. Because he’s such a lightning rod for criticism, LeBron’s pass ignited discussions on his late-game decision making once again. Of course, it didn’t help this was the same game in which LeBron made just two field goals in 24 minutes while battling foul trouble all night.
In the end, despite LeBron’s prolonged absence, the Heat still had a chance to win the game and advance to the Finals. Bosh’s shot goes in, we’re celebrating LeBron’s unselfish play. Since it didn’t go in, well, let’s go through the same questions we had about him before he won his two championships. When you’re the best player in the world, making the correct basketball play is sometimes not enough.
Do you think LeBron made the right decision?
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