Out of the 37 points poured in by LeBron James during last night's Game 7, the most meaningful were the two he scored in the clip above. With his team up by two and the game clock running under 30 seconds, James got himself a pick near the top of the key, recognized that his defender was cheating into the paint, and without a moment's hesitation put up a step-back jumper—a nothing shot that nevertheless felt like the last rebuke to his critics LeBron will ever have to make.
Let's take a look at LeBron James's shot chart from the game:
The thing that stands out are the jump shots. James spent the entire night throwing up jumpers, torturing a Spurs team that once again lagged into the paint and dared him to shoot. It was a complete departure from Game 3, during which LeBron's shot turned wobbly and uncertain with all that space in front of it.
That's why last night's performance was so perfect. James retreated into his one remaining weakness and won another championship by making it a strength. He met the Spurs defense on the last plane where his game could be critiqued or exploited, and he rained down jumpers. The last one salted away the finals and sucked all the oxygen out of TV studios across the country. There was nothing left to say about LeBron except that he had been great, and the Heat had won.