The Miami Heat got a minor scare yesterday during the team's game against the Atlanta Hawks. LeBron James knocked knees with Josh Smith last night in the second quarter, and had to be checked out in the locker room. He returned to the game, performed as close to normal as you could expect, and the Heat won. It seems to be a minor injury, but regardless, LeBron intends to play through it.
According to Ethan Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post, James' knee was swollen and he was limited in his jumping ability, but he still got the job done. The Heat, with a limited James (no matter how limited he was), were able to improve to 5-1.
“It’s going to take a lot for me not to go out there with my teammates,” James said.If this were last season or the season before, an injury like this may have drawn the criticism and belief that the Heat don't need James to win. He's overrated people may have said. But after winning his first NBA title last season, and with the Heat's impressive start this year, James has found himself back in good graces with most NBA fans.
This is James' third season with the heat, and he is averaging 22.2 points per game and 6.2 assists per game. In his career, he has averaged 27.6 points per game and 6.9 assists per game. James made things difficult on himself when he came to Miami. He admitted he handled the transition badly. He became a villain in the game. However, with his selfless play and a championship under his belt, things are getting better. But he is still hungry for more, and so are the Heat.
As LeBron goes, so go the Heat. Even with players like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh among others, the Heat need James healthy. They need him to be a floor general, an extra point guard of sorts. It looks like this injury will not keep him out, and that is wonderful news if you are a Heat fan.