NBA Finals Predictions: LeBron James Legacy of a Loser?

LeBron James Blocks Tim Duncan As If He'd Confused Him With Tiago Splitter (VIDEO/GIF)





If James loses in Game 6, he will be 1-4 in his NBA Finals career. He was there with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007 and he lost to these same Spurs. Then in 2011, when he made the move to South Beach, James' cocky demeanor got in the way of his skills and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Heat in six games. The Heat were successful last season after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, but luck doesn't appear to be on James' side this year. Like Us on Facebook The Spurs have proven more dynamic. They have talent, but it's impossible to compare their team to the guys in Miami.





LeBron James on amazing memory: 'A gift and a curse'





If Diaw is guarding him in Game 6, it stands to reason that LeBron will attack the rim the way he did in Game 4. While Diaw does a lot of things exceptionally well (passing, for one), he has always been viewed as a below-average defender. So yeah, it might be smart to sell high on Boris. But regardless of whether it's sustainable, it's an undeniable fact that Boris Diaw contained LeBron James in an NBA Finals game ... which isinsane. Diaw has been been the butt of a lot of jokes in recent years, mainly for his weight. He's a freakishly skilled, 6'8" Frenchman who actually came into the league as a point guard.But he's chunkier than your average NBA player, and that has earned him a bad rap in the NBA world. Diaw was an afterthought in the NBA Finals before last night. He only appeared in three of the five games , and only averaged 10 minutes in those appearances. But after LeBron torched the smaller Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in Game 4, Gregg Popovich turned to the big-boned Diaw to try and make things more difficult for LeBron in the paint.





Dwyane Wade, LeBron James combine for 65 points, Heat beat Spurs in NBA Finals Game 4





The Spurs led 61-52 at halftime but pushed ahead to a 96-76 game-high lead with 9:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.During that period, LeBron disappeared. Rather than rallying the Heat back, the league's Most Valuable Player, who shot 56.5 percent in the regular season, shot 1-of-9 (11 percent). LeBron James' final stat line: 25 Pts, 8 Ast, 6 Reb, 4 Stl. A caveat: he finished 2 for his last 10 FG. SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 17, 2013 More is demanded from legends. James will never be compared to just the great; he will forever be compared to the greatest. Maybe its Jordan nostalgia or even selective memories of Kobe's career, but it never felt like either of those contemporary greats lost their edge in big moments.









"We understood this was a survival game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. James had vowed to play better after a sometimes-listless performance in Game 3 , and he made good on his promise. He attacked the Spurs in transition, took the ball into the post and took advantage of a key tactical change by Spoelstra. "As bad as I played in Game 3, I put all the pressure on me to say I can't afford to play like that and hope for us to win," James said. "Not at this level. "So I was able to forget about it. It hurt.





Renewed LeBron James strikes back





To build up these memory abilities, it takes a lot of practice and a lot of interest over an extended period of time." How does that help James? Maybe the next time the Heat are defending an out-of-bounds play like the George play James will have a better idea of what might happen and how to defend it better. Battier noticed James' memory recall shortly after joining the Heat at the start of the 2011-12 season. "It became a pattern when discussing certain coverages or certain plays," Battier said. "He was able to draw upon not just one or two examples but multiple examples of the situation. That's tough for anyone to do.





Will LeBron James' Inconsistency Cost Miami Heat NBA Finals Repeat?





They also attacked quicker, going before the defense was set, to further implement this offensive counterattack. The tone was set early, too, as the video below shows James slicing in from left to right quickly off of a made basket, setting up Chris Bosh for an open jumper. It's hard to say when LeBron actually decides to attack, because he never really stops moving, but this seems to be about as close to the moment as we could find. LeBron is several feet beyond the three-point line when he starts to build the most speed, making it very difficult for his defender -- Danny Green , in this case -- to beat him to the spot when James has so much space to make his move. On the occasions that LeBron is stationary with the ball at the three-point line and then attacks, it's essentialyl only a matter of stopping his first step. On plays like this, however, it's much more than that.





LeBron James, Dwyane Wade manipulate space beautifully in Game 4





More Podcasts "I think that's just called maturity," Heat forward Shane Battier said. "It's his 10th year in the league. He's a father of two. You don't care as much about what people say about you as you get older. "There are not too many situations he's going to be put in where he's going to take more spitballs than he did a couple years ago. Everything else is pretty tame." Those spitballs hurt, but they also helped. James let himself get hit by them. He didn't duck or hide or run. A little at first, but for the most part, he seemed to know that feeling all that then would dull just about any pain that might come his way in the future.





LeBron James Got Shut Down By A Chubby French Role Player Last Night





James impressively turned back a shot from Tim Duncan in the third quarter as the Spurs attempted to rally against the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the 2013 NBA Finals. After controlling the nifty behind-the-head pass from Manu Ginobili, Duncan shifted the ball to his right hand and rose along the base line. Before the 37-year-old could either let loose a short hook shot or get all the way to the rim for a dunk attempt, James rotated and then rose up for the block. GIF: LeBron Rejects Timmy As the career leader in playoff blocked shots , Duncan presumably understands getting rejected is just the cost of doing business. If not, he can console himself with the knowledge that what James did to him was far less noteworthy than what the four-time NBA MVP visited upon Splitter in Game 2. Loading Slideshow LeBron James, Tiago Splitter Miami Heat's LeBron James looks to pass against San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first half at Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first half at Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Chris Bosh, Danny Green Miami Heat's Chris Bosh (1) shoots as San Antonio Spurs' Danny Green (4) defends during the first half at Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Antonio.