While there were an innumerable amount of storylines from Tuesday night's dramatic Game 4 between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the biggest was LeBron James' continued development as a player on the biggest stage in basketball.
LeBron not only put up a 26/9/12 stat-line on 50% shooting while defending positions 1-5, he totally dominated the flow of the game in the low post. Over at RealGM, I have a column talking about how he brought Miami back from a huge early deficit from the post:
The biggest change in his game from the 2011 Finals is how he is attacking the paint. He's playing more with his back to the basket, the easiest way to exploit a smaller defender. LeBron spent the vast majority of Game 4 overpowering Kevin Durant, Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden, none of whom have the strength to prevent him from establishing post position. Whether it was face-ups, hook shots or spin moves, he went 8-for-11 on field goals near the rim.
After Oklahoma City raced out to a 27-12 lead to start the game, he quarterbacked a lightning-fast comeback from the post. In four minutes, he created 14 points without scoring: finding Norris Cole for two 3 pointers, Wade on a breakaway and James Jones for a 3. It was beautifully efficient basketball: either LeBron would score in the paint or he would command a double team and create a wide open 3 pointer for a teammate.
People have been clamoring for LeBron to play more with his back to the basket for almost his entire carer, and the Thunder got a chance to see why in Game 4. There's no defense for a 6'9 265 monster with LeBron's passing ability in the paint.
For more on this 2012 NBA Finals, be sure to read our StoryStream here. Check out Welcome To Loud City for more on the Thunder and Peninsula Is Mightier for more on the Heat.