Apparently all LeBron James needs to be successful in the 4th quarter of a tight game is some motivation from some heckling courtside fans. In the first crazy instance in Toronto on January 6th LeBron scored 24 points in the 4th quarter after the girlfriend and cousin of Toronto Raptors Center Chris Bosh began heckling LeBron because of his poor first half shooting. Apparently the memo didn’t reach Portland, where last night a rowdy fan was apparently the reason for LeBron’s explosion in the 4th quarter as well. The heckling prompted LeBron to drop 17 points in the final 12 minutes, including 3 critical three’s in the final minutes and the eventual game winning shot.
News like this can only tell us one thing.
LeBron has gotten much better in the clutch and is starting to be more relied upon as a player that can actually finish. Not only that, but he is taking over games, he is taking over quarters and he is demanding the ball in crucial situations. This is not the same LeBron that passed up potential game winning shot attempts in the playoffs last year. LeBron’s offensive aggressiveness has increased and he is averaging nearly 3 more points per game than he did last year. The ability to produce in the final minutes of a game is the element of LeBron’s game that has been lacking in recent years and that has prevented him from reaching the level of Kobe Bryant (who God knows will be yelling in the huddle if the final play isn’t drawn up for him).
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