LeBron James' Game 5 report card

How he played, and what he needs to change for the Heat to win the Finals

Originally Published: June 10, 2011
By Chris Palmer | ESPN The Magazine
LeBron JamesGarrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty ImagesLeBron James and the Heat came up short in Game 5.

In the game LeBron James called the biggest game of his life going into it, a 112-103 Game 5 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, LBJ recorded his seventh career playoff triple-double. He knew ahead of time that he had to be more aggressive, impose his will and dominate. Sure, he had a triple-double, but how well did James really play? Here's our report card on James' Game 5 performance, with areas in which he'll need to improve to win Miami a title:


Grade: B+/D

I'm giving James two grades in this category because the first three quarters were vastly different from the all-important fourth quarter. Things started out well enough, as James was highly aggressive offensively (though mostly as a facilitator). On the first six Miami possessions, he found teammates in scoring position four times, which led to two early assists.

Chris Palmer

ESPN the Magazine