LeBron James and the Lakers were humbled by the Miami Heat on Sunday night’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The Heat were led by Jimmy Butler, who posted a 40 point triple-double (40-13-11) and became the first player to out-score, out-assist, and out-rebound James in an NBA Finals game.
Given the caliber of players LeBron has squared off with in the finals, that stat becomes even more impressive. But, according to James’ former teammate Channing Frye, don’t expect ‘The King’ to sit quietly.
Game 3 was a disappointment for the Lakers’ leading man. He managed 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists, but also managed 8 turnovers in the game, with him leading that stat. It didn’t help the Lakers that Anthony Davis, James’ right-hand man, also floundered against a Heat team that had no one who could match up with his size.
LeBron has been crucial in the Lakers’ playoff journey, averaging about 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists a game. His performance directly affects the Lakers’ chances to win another ring, their first in 10 years.
Further, LeBron constantly faces comparison with Michael Jordan in the G.O.A.T conversation. Inasmuch, he will be more than motivated to claim his fourth ring with his third different team.
Add to the fact that LeBron is close to proving the doubters wrong, making it out of the tougher Western Conference the first time he made the Playoffs, the ‘Space Jam 2’ star will not want that work to go to waste.
Channing Frye backs LeBron James to bounce back
Former NBA Champion Channing Frye went on NBA TV and doubled-down on LeBron’s motivation to come back strong. “Listen, I expect him to come out and try to score 60. If that was me, if I was on the team, I’d be like ‘Bron, you have to give us 20 in this first half, you have to be aggressive. You have to take advantage of the offensive opportunities. You have to seek out their worst defenders and put pressure on them.’
“When you allow the Miami Heat to play all the players that they want with their substitution patterns, Coach Spo is going to eat you up.”
“I expect him to come out and try and score 60.” 👀@channingfrye shares what he expects from LeBron in Game 4 of the #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/v0tvRSUKW3
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 5, 2020
Frye knows first-hand what a motivated LeBron can do. Having been his teammate in Cleveland for two years, he saw James’ lead the Cavaliers to overturn a 3-1 deficit against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. This was a feat never been done in the Finals. A fired-up James in the Finals could signify a tough road ahead for Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.
Can LeBron help the Lakers turn things around? Or has the momentum shifted too far in the Heat’s favor?