Charles Barkley: ‘LeBron James Only Reason Heat Are In Finals’
The San Antonio Spurs have a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals if they can win Game 4 against the Miami Heat. Former player and TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley talked with Doug Gottlieb about the momentum changes in the series and LeBron James’ performance through three games.
“After [Game] 1, the Heat were done. After [Game] 2 the Spurs were done. After [Game] 3 the Heat are done,” Barkley said. “I think you have to give the Spurs credit. They have a great game plan against LeBron, they are basically playing a zone every time he (LeBron) touches the ball.”
The Heat will go as far as James takes them in the Finals with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh struggling to add anything offensively. But if the Heat fail to win their second title in as many years, James will get the blame for the series loss whether it’s fair or not.
“Every time LeBron makes a move, there are three guys guarding the basket,” Barkley said. “And he’s going to get the blame and that really sucks because he’s the only reason they’re in the Finals.”
The Heat gave up home-court advantage in the series when they lost Game 1 at home, but they responded in Game 2 and will need to do so again in Game 4. But James will need help if the Heat are going to avoid being forced to the brink of elimination.
“You have to make adjustments from game to game and it’s his move now,” Barkley said. “He hasn’t had to take those shots in the past because Dwyane [Wade] and [Chris] Bosh were giving him something, but now they’re not giving him anything and he’s going to have to change his game and be a little more aggressive offensively.”