LeBron James has been having a solid week for the Miami Heat. They were riding on a nine-game win-streak, with all of their wins by more than twelve points. Miami looked unstoppable, until last night against the Utah Jazz. 

Everything was going swell in the fourth quarter, as King James rallied the Heat from down double-digits to tie the game with circus shots all over. He would finish with 17 fourth quarter points, including 35 total with ten rebounds and six assists. If that isn't coming up big in the fourth, I don't know what is. 

But all of those accomplishments in the game came to a vanish after the decision he made at the end of the game to pass it to Udonis Haslem to take the game-winner. Haslem would end up missing and the Heat's win-streak would be snapped in a 99-98 loss at Salt Lake City.

But why should all the blame be on LeBron? Honestly, he's always the one that is going to take all the criticism...no matter what. In my opinion, it looked like a great decision as he tricked the defense to find the open Haslem. He's had success doing this before, like in the NBA Finals when he passed it to Chris Bosh, who ended up making the game-winning shot. So I don't blame James for taking that. Plus, why blame him? Dwyane Wade should be at the most fault after his absurd foul on Devin Harris on a three-pointer and his other miscues throughout the contest.

However, James still has to be at fault. Why? He passed it, again. Back in the All-Star game, a game that didn't matter, LeBron didn't take up the last shot. Why would he do that? And it wasn't even a good pass either, as he threw it at a crowd of players, and it sadly ended up in Blake Griffin's hands. Even in an exhibition game, he didn't take up the last shot. 

Honestly, I don't get why James wouldn't want to. He's had his share numerous times of taking the last shot before, and he succeeded (example: his amazing three-point game-winner on the Orlando Magic back in the 2009 playoffs). Is he afraid of the scrutiny he could face from the media if he misses, or does he just not have the killer instinct?

Some argue that he was double-teamed on that last shot, but when you look at it, there was only one guy in front of him and another behind him, and he wasn't going to catch up. 
He had 3.7 seconds. That's enough time to get a shot for yourself, and I am confident that he would have made it. In fact, he had enough time to get a shot in the post! So why did he pass it to Haslem? 

"I just try to make the right plays and do what it takes to win basketball games. At the end of the day, games are not lost on one shot at the end or me not taking a shot. But I know the chatter will begin. I wanted that game as bad as anyone else on that floor."

I don't understand. Listen, I don't think he should be taking criticism for this, because I think it was a pretty good play. Derrick Rose passed to a wide-open Brian Scalabrine against the Indiana Pacers a few months ago for the game-winner (which he ended up missing), and he did not get criticized. Or what about Michael Jordan himself passing to Steve Kerr against the Jazz in 1997? Or Kobe Bryant to the then-Ron-Artest a few seasons ago against the Memphis Grizzlies?

But I will say this: from here on out, James has to learn to take the game-winner. Even if you miss them, it gives you practice. You'll develop and get better. It's a rarity seeing LBJ taking the last shot. And usually when he does take it, it ends up in a positive way. Kobe and MJ. They wanted to take the last shot, no matter how much the odds are against them. James needs to learn to do that, too. He needs to develop the killer instinct. He needs to develop to just take the last shot. He should know now that he is the man of this team, and not Wade or Chris Bosh. Those two are going to rely on James for the most part on that last shot, not Haslem.

If James really wants to win a title, taking the last shot is the big step towards doing so.

Written by Josh Dhani, Founder

Josh has been writing since January 2009 and has founded the websites FootBasket, Hardcourt Mayhem, Gridiron Mayhem, and Staring Down Spike. For a full bio, check out JoshDhani.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshDhani


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