It’s not like Miami Heat forward LeBron James wasn’t putting up solid statistics against the Indiana Pacers in this series. James averaged 25 points and eight boards in Games 2 and 3 but the Pacers were still able to defeat the Heat who seemed out of rhythm offensively.
Most of Miami’s offensive problems could be traced back to losing forward Chris Bosh to a strained abdomen in Game 1 but Pacers’ forward Danny Granger must have felt that his team’s Game 1 loss was due to them not coming out with enough attitude in that first game.
So in Games 2 and 3 Granger decided to get more aggressive. Granger would receive technical fouls in both games for getting in James’ face after fouls.
Too bad Granger didn’t understand how great a player James is. James can get the 25 and eight he averaged in those two games in his sleep.
Granger preformed a cardinal sin that average players are never supposed to do to great players; he got James mad. And when great players get mad, they take their frustrations out on you.
So how did James respond to Granger’s intimidation attempts? He had a historical Game 4 pouring in 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists. The first time someone has had a stat line like that since Elgin Baylor did it back in 1961.
But even more so, Granger’s pathetic attempts seemed to wake up Dwyane Wade’s stagnant game also. Wade erupted for 30 points, nine boards and six assists in Miami’s Game 4 win in Indiana.
Still Granger hadn’t learned his lesson. He would catch another technical after getting in Wade’s face during his team’s Game 4 defeat which only seemed to give the Heat more fuel for Game 5.
While the Heat only beat Indiana by eight points in Game 4, they would crush the Pacers by 32 points with a 115-83 win in Miami Tuesday night.
So now the Pacers who were up 2-1 after Game 3 are now facing elimination going into Game 6 on Thursday night. Hopefully Granger has learned his lesson but after hurting his ankle fouling James during the third quarter of Tuesday’s game, Granger might not be available for Game 6.
Still, Granger’s actions will serve as a warning to other players around the league. Just like the comic book character David Banner, you don’t want to make LeBron angry. It’s not good to unleash the beast within.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.