MIAMI (CBS4) – According to Websters, the term “clutch” can be defined as “made or done in a critical situation.”
The average sports fan applies the usage of the word to a shot buried or home run blasted in the final moments. But with LeBron James thrusting his athletic prowess upon the sports world, it’s time to broaden our myopic definition for unequivocally the most unique specimen of his generation.
Rewind to Thursday night in Miami.
The Heat were down one with under thirty seconds to play against the carcass of the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron’s mission was clear. Get into the paint, and there’s a solid chance of something good unfolding.
LeBron attacked the lane, getting within five feet of the rim – by no means a rare occurrence. He fumbled the ball while vacuuming four Spurs defenders into his vicinity before delivering the rock to plausibly the purest shooter in basketball history in Ray Allen.
The net ripped, the Heat led for good, and another throat slash in the final minute was performed by the defending NBA Champions.
Twitter erupted — mostly regarding Ray Allen’s shooting in the “clutch” this year. After all he’s a perfect 4-for-4 in the final two minutes to tie or take the lead. The talking heads roared. The fans cheered their once rival turned hero.
Not much was spoken about how that shot came into fruition – per usual.
That clean, unguarded jumper doesn’t happen without LeBron’s dominant ability to create for himself and for others. It doesn’t happen with LeBron trying to win it himself with a contested three at the top of the key.
It happens by LeBron dismissing the moronic Skip Bayless’ of the world and doing what he does best – orchestrate a basketball court.
Not to diminish Allen, the veteran sniper, but the more impressive feat was, and has always been, LeBron’s ability to make the highest percentage basketball play again and again. Whether that means taking the final shot or moving the ball to a teammate for a higher probability of success, LeBron is forever clutch.
“They were so heavily loaded up on LeBron, they almost got us,” said Allen. “He made a great play.”
Take a peek at LeBron’s efficiency down the stretch of close games (per Heat.com’s Couper Moorehead): 40 minutes, 33 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, and +48. He’s sticking it to defenses in the big moment every which way possible. It’s like battering a defenseless piñata with a bat one day and a steel pipe the next.
It doesn’t matter if LeBron’s mother wants him shooting more at the end of games. He does not care. All he truly cares about is putting his team in the best possible scenario to win.
Whether that means scoring, dishing, or defending, LeBron James gets it.
“I try to draw a lot of attention off of him and off the rest of the guys,” James said after snapping the shorthanded Spurs in pieces. “Its almost like pick your poison.”