Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 5/31/13
MIAMI They might be known as the Big Three. But in this series against the Indiana Pacers, its been more like the Big One. LeBron James in his three years with the Miami Heat often has deferred to fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But the latter two certainly havent been looking recently like stars. Wade has been hampered by a painful bruised right knee throughout the playoffs and hasnt reached 20 points in any of the past 11 games hes played. In the Eastern Conference finals, which the Heat lead 3-2 entering Saturdays Game 6 at Indiana, Wade is averaging 15.4 points. Thats well below his regular-season average of 21.2. Bosh, who is battling big Roy Hibbert at center and has played recently on a sprained right ankle, also has had problems in the series. Hes averaging 12.6 points, below his regular-season average of 16.6. So whats James had to do? Take charge even more. Even though the Heat are scoring more than four points fewer per game in the series than they did during the regular season, the NBA MVP is averaging 28.4 points, nearly two more than his regular-season figure of 26.8. Hes had three games of 30 or more, including 30 in Thursdays 90-79 Game 5 win. Hes in a class by himself when it comes to the best basketball player Ive ever seen, Heat forward Udonis Haslem said about James. Hes intelligent. Thats what makes him so special. He knows when its time to step up and make plays and when its time to get other guys involved. Thursdays third quarter was a time to step up. With the Heat playing sluggishly and down 44-40 at halftime, James soon took charge. He scored 16 points as the Heat outscored Indiana 30-13 in the third quarter to take control of the game. James said he kind of just went back to my Cleveland days and became more of a scoring threat. In other words, he knew he had to make up for some shortcomings by his teammates, a scenario he faced when playing for the less-talented Cavaliers from 2003-10. James didnt phrase it like that. But its quite apparent James needs to do more now to make up for difficulties faced by Wade and Bosh. Wade was candid Friday about his limitations. His knee is bothering him and preventing him from producing as much offensively as he would like. Its very tough, Wade, who managed just 10 points in Game 5. But I cant sit at home. I got to come out there and got do to what I can every day and every night to help my team win and do the little things throughout a game, defensively at times, rebound at times . I just got to try to make plays for the guys and not necessarily worry if I can get 20 points so you guys (the media) can feel good and you guys come in and write a good story. Wade said his knee on Thursday had some good moments and had some bad moments. He said its kind of understood James has to do more at times to pick up what Wade cant do. Sometimes, though, they do discuss it. My only thing is I can tell him Im going to give you everything I got and thats all I can do at this point, Wade said. I would love to score to 20 to 30 a night . If (Saturdays) a night where Im feeling better and I can go for more points, then Im going to try to be aggressive. But if its a game where I got to make plays for other guys to make shots and give up myself, thats what Ill do. Wade has had games of 18 and 19 points in the series. But thats still below what he normally scores. I understand that hes not 100 percent and hes giving us everything he has, James said of Wade. So I got to just be me and go out and try to lead our team and help our team win. James also has had to make up for some of Boshs struggles. The 6-foot-11, 235-pound Bosh, a natural power forward who has been forced to play center, has been overpowered in the series by the 7-2, 275-pound Hibbert, averaging 22.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in the five games. Bosh is averaging just 3.6 rebounds against the Pacers and has put up just seven points in each of the past two games. Not helping matters has been the ankle he sprained in the second half of Game 4, which looked to also have hampered him in Game 5. Everybody at this point in time, its difficult to play, Bosh said. Nobodys 100 percent when youve 100-something games. Its just really all mental . Everybody is ailing a little bit. But thats a part of the game. It could be even tougher for Bosh on Saturday due to the NBA having suspended Miami backup center Chris Andersen for one game. Andersen was assessed a flagrant 1 foul Thursday for two hard shoves of Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough. The NBA reviewed the play Friday and made its determination. With Andersen out, perhaps James will have to fill in even more inside. The do-all James already has been Miamis top outside threat in the series. With normally potent marksman Ray Allen shooting just 6 of 20 (30 percent) in the series and Shane Battier a disastrous 2 of 15 (13.3 percent), James has been the Heats most reliable 3-point shooter. Hes shooting 12 of 28 (42.9 percent) against Indiana. I can do a little bit of everything, shoot from the outside, score in the paint, I can score in the mid-range, James said. Im not trying to compensate for anybody. Im just trying to do my part and even do a little more just to try to help us win. Sometimes James has to do a lot more to get Miami a victory. But if the Heat arent going to have a true Big Three during this postseason, theres no other Big One any team would want to have. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

Colin Kaepernick on national anthem: 'I'll continue to sit'

Stephen Jones: Cowboys 'look forward' to starting Prescott

Stanton has 'slim chance' of returning for final week?

Kubiak hinting that Siemian is favorite for Broncos' QB job?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Harbaugh: NFL needs to make changes to preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker