Eastern Conference, First Round, Game 1 of the playoffs at American Airlines Arena, is Exhibit A to demonstrate why LeBron James deserves MVP. LeBron’s 32 points off 14 shots, help push the Heat’s lead so far ahead that LeBron cruises through Q4 on the bench. With a mindset to win, LeBron is driven with an intensity that rises the tide of everyone’s boat. Wade’s 2-handed slam in the first half and LeBron’s diving slam contribute to the Heat’s 21-point half-time lead. Dominating from start to finish, Heat wins with a final score 67-100. LeBron’s energy contributes to 27 turnovers by the Knicks resulting in 38 Heat points.
In a thuggish play LeBron gets hit on the back of the neck and goes down (43-31). A flagrant 2 nearly sends Tyson Chandler out of the game, but after review the call is down graded to a flagrant 1. Going into half-time an interception by LeBron, gives the Heat a 21-point lead (31-52). A technical is called on Carmelo Anthony #7 (32-56) LeBron goes under the basket and shifts the ball from his right to left hand and it goes in (31-59). Shot clock is down to 4, a new shot clock to New York but LeBron jumps in for a steal, then a pass to Mario Chalmers for 3 (31-62). LeBron has hit 27 of the Heat’s total points, compared to New York’s 33 total points. New York gains energy with a 3-pointer, and a turnover by the Heat (38-62). A Heat pass goes right through Bosh’s hands. Under the rim, LeBron turns his back and the rebound drops right behind him. Bosh hits 2 (40-64) 3Q 6:40. The shot clock winds down on the Knicks. A turnover from the Heat to New York goes back to the Heat. Wade gets his shot and the foul, leaving Iman Shumpert # 21 down on the floor in the back-court grimacing in pain, grabbing his left knee. I can feel his pain all the way over here as he is taken off the court. Iman Shumpert is an important part to the Knicks’ defense. LeBron hustles down the court them jumps, Haslem gets the rebound and Bosh comes in to clean up (40-69). Q3 5:20. Smith hits a long 2. Chalmers missing a 3 leads to a 24-second violation (44-69). A turnover by Smith # 8, Heat ball. Wade banks it adding 2 (44-71). Bosh maintains good balance as he bats the Knicks’ ball out of the rim and sends the ball back to Miami. Haslem with his second rebound passes to Battier for 3, its off but Miller cleans up with 3 (44-74). Now Miller with a steal sends it to James, it rims out but Haslem sends it back for 2 (44-76). Smith is open for 3 (47-76). Miller’s 3 is no good but Battier with the rebound sends LeBron flying to the rim adding 2 (47-78). The ball goes out-of-bounds on the Knicks. A stumble causes Battier to travel. The Knicks’ ball goes flying into the stands (47-78). James puts up a 3 from downtown bringing the 3rd quarter to an end with Heat leading 47-81. New York is shooting 34%. The 4th Quarter starts with Miller shooting 3 (47-84). Miller with a rebound. Miller’s shot rims out. “Where is the cleanup team? Where is the rebound team?” Rebound goes to the Knicks. Shot fake, Steve Novak # 16 hits 3 (50-84). Mario Chalmers # 15 responds with 2 (50-86). Amare Stoudemire # 1 reaches up to dunk but Joel Anthony # 50 reaches from behind and blocks the ball before it leaves Stoudemire’s hands, sending it the other way. Stoudemire goes to the line for 1 (53-88). 9:14 remain in Q4. Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis # 85 both with 4 fouls. Heat ball gets deflected into the back court by New York but Wade recovers. Look out, Wade is on a mission. “Get out of my way.” Wade goes flying to the rim. After 5 passes Wade goes under the basket, ducks down while throwing the ball up from down-under and ends up sliding across the paint. Guess what? It’s good (57-90). The Heat is on now, with two steals, then James Jones hits 3 (63-93). Norris Cole # 30 is tight on Mike Bibby # 20. Heat gets a 24-second violation with 3:11 left in the game, but with a solid lead. Jones hits again (63-95). Fans head to the exits, but they’ll be back on Monday night. James Jones hits another 3 to take the score to 100 (65-100). Tough and committed, the Heat takes several charges, pounding them to the floor. Anticipate that the New York Knicks will make the necessary adjustments to apply the pressure on Monday. It’s not over till it’s over. Til then, dominate.