LeBron James looked fatigued at the end of games. When he is fatigued he settles for jump shots rather than attack the rim. When he settles for jumpers everyone talks about how he will not take over at the end of games.
LeBron admitted that he was fatigued at the end of Game 2 in part because with Chris Bosh out he’s had to play a lot more power forward. Here is the exact quote via the Miami Herald.
“It’s a lot more taxing being in there with bigger guys,” James said. Defensively “is the biggest difference. When you’re on the perimeter, there’s more space. The interior is more cramped and physical. … But I’m ready for the challenge.”
LeBron did a solid defensive job on David West in Game 2 (he was 5-13 overall), but that is a big strong man and covering him no doubt wears you down.
Which ties into the second key issue here — without Bosh LeBron played the entire second half. During the regular season LeBron had the second best PER in the league in the fourth quarter (behind Chris Paul) but with the Heat’s rotations he usually sat to start the fourth and came back in around the seven-minute mark. He was rested and more aggressive
Not any more.
Now LeBron has to power through. Literally.
And if the Heat are going to win Game 3 and this series, he is going to have to find the energy not to physically fade, not to settle for jumpers late in the game. He needs to attack.