This is in no way the most impressive highlight of LeBron James’s series-clinching performance in Game 7, which he started a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and finished with 45 points on 25 shots, but it’s the most representative of what it’s like to face LeBron James in a do-or-die scenario:
Bojan Bogdanovic has faced plenty of defensive closeouts in his career, and I imagine his reaction to them at this point is all muscle memory. Shoot. Pump fake. Step back. Drive. Pass. There were possibilities available to Bogdnaovic when he received that pass in the corner, and then came LeBron James, bearing down on him like a svelte grizzly, erasing all his options. Bogdnaovic responded with a dribble to his left that felt like a surrender, at which point LeBron took the ball from him. He just took that shit. He decided it was his now.
Again, this is not anywhere close to the coolest thing LeBron did all series, and maybe it only sticks out to me because he spent most of the regular season not really doing much on defense. But it did stick out, and it was a reminder that sometimes LeBron decides he’s going to do something to his opponents and there is nothing they can do about it. He took the ball. He took the series. The Pacers just had to watch him do it.