The Heat are definitely in 'cruise control' mode so far this season, and with the East as weak as it is their incentive to hustle even for 'big' games is about as small as it could possibly be, they could essentially tank and still wind up with HCA for most of the playoffs. But even with that being true, this game reminded me of everything that bugs me about Lebron as a player. He's undeniably proven himself and he's exhibiting some level of talent and ability that is essentially unprecedented in the league, champion, perennial mvp...etc...etc. but by the end of the third quarter it was pretty clear he was doing his "well I don't even CARE, I wasn't even trying anyway" pouting that he has done his entire career.
Which is something I'll just never understand about the guy. If things are stacked, his play approaches the heavens, but if things are choppy, you just never know what you'll get, sometimes he'll play up, but enough times in his career to where it can not be considered a fluke or exception, he wilts. Of course, being on a stacked team, his wilting doesn't always cost them the game, but still...
I guess the point is, it's Lebron's league right now, and as a basketball fan I want to be able to really see what he can do, but when you tune in for the big match-up and he plays like this and you remember 'oh yeah, that's Lebron' it just sort of spoils it.
This game also reminded me of how much I can't stand watching Dwyane Wade play. He's like 08 Paul Pierce, you gotta give him credit for his array of shotmaking and penetration, but half of his game revolves around playing for the whistle. Hate to see that.
Pacers are a really interesting team this season and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they win the championship. They are playing with a hunger that is reminiscent of the Celtics 08, Lakers 09 and Heat 11 chips (as well as many preceding those, just keeping it in recent history) they have chemistry and every position is in capable hands(though their depth is a little shaky) Of course, the Thunder seem to have their number and I wouldn't question the Thunder's resolve either. If it comes to Thunder vs. Pacers in the Finals, that'd be pretty great.