With questions swirling about whether or not the Miami Heat could beat the Indiana Pacers without Chris Bosh, it was another Miami star in the spotlight on Sunday, the one who usually commands most of the attention from fans and pundits. LeBron James scored 40 points in the Heat win, evening the series at 2-2 and somehow inviting more questions about his place as the top player in the current NBA.
Much of the criticism around James is his lack of NBA titles, the classic "rings" argument. At SB Nation's NBA hub, Andrew Sharp explored the dichotomy of James the player.
There's never been a player this good who comes with this many legitimate questions, and the NBA's never had a clear-cut MVP that so many fellow players openly disrespect. From Danny Granger in this Pacers series, to Kobe in the All-Star Game, to Deshawn Stevenson in last year's Finals. If this is Bron's generation to rule the basketball world, what happens if he doesn't win this year? Or next year?
In a world full of "told ya so!" arguments, we really have no idea how this plays out. The Heat could fall apart this spring and then win three straight titles. But for now the skepticism's perfectly legitimate, regardless of what happened Sunday. It's what makes every Miami game must-see-TV -- to see whether the best basketball player on earth can finally solidify his title with a title.
The Heat will turn to James again on Tuesday night.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier and andSB Nation Tampa Bay. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, check outIndy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana. And for all your news and notes on the playoffs matchups, visit SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.