LeBron James had one of the greatest playoff performances ever in the Miami Heat's 98-79 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
James scored 45 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out five assists in the victory. He joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only player to ever put up 45-15-5 in a postseason game.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the MVP's performance was his efficiency. He went 19-26 from the field and only missed one shot in the first half. James scored more than half of Miami's points, but had 24 fewer shot attempts than his Heat teammates.
Miami's playoff hopes are alive solely because of James. His play forced a Game 7, in which the Heat will face the Celtics at home.
There's a good chance that the Heat will win and advance to the NBA Finals to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami is a minus 450 favorite, which means the oddsmakers give them an 80 percent chance of advancing to the next round.
The way the Heat dominated the Celtics will cause many to pick them to win the title. However, James' performance and Miami's Game 6 victory is exactly why the Heat won't win an NBA championship.
After three straight losses, the Heat beat the Celtics because James had one of the best playoff games of all time. It's seemingly impossible for Miami to win, unless James has an incredible game.
James is probably the best player in the NBA, and is capable of putting up a triple-double every night. But it's impossible to expect him to play so well each time out. James' stellar play has gotten the Heat this far, but it might not be enough for Miami to beat OKC.
If James doesn't have a great game, the Heat have a hard time winning. In Miami's 11 postseason wins, James is averaging 32 points, 10.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. In the Heat's six playoff losses, he's averaging 28.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
The Heat's biggest problem since the formation of the Big 3 has been the lack of production from their supporting cast. However, in this year's playoffs, James has been the only consistent member of the Big 3.
Dwyane Wade has had some good games this postseason, but he hasn't been as consistent as he's been in the past. In two games against Boston, Wade has shot 35 percent or less from the field. Some have speculated that Wade isn't 100 percent healthy this year, and hasn't been able to play up to his capabilities.
Miami can't win a title with performances like that.
Chris Bosh hasn't been very productive due to in an injury he suffered in the first game in the second round. He's important to the team's success, but James and Wade are Miami's top guns.
If either James or Wade isn't going to play like a star, members of the Heat supporting cast have to step up in order for them to win.
The Miami bench has done next to nothing in this series with Boston. The Heat bench scored just 13 points off the bench on Thursday, and that included Chris Bosh.
Shane Battier hasn't been good, shooting just 30 percent from the field in the playoffs. Udonis Haslem hasn't been productive either, averaging just 5.4 points per game in the postseason.
James' individual performances might take the Heat to the finals, but the Thunder are better than any team in the Eastern Conference.
Oklahoma City has its own Big 3, made up of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. They also have a good supporting cast.
Serbe Ibaka is one of the best defenders in the league. Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins are also very good on the defensive end.
The Heat stars may be a little better than the Thunder's, but Oklahoma City's supporting cast dwarfs that of Miami's. The same can be said for Boston, who still has a good chance of winning Game 7.
The team with the best player on the court often has the best chance of winning. With that logic, the Heat have an excellent shot of winning their first championship since 2006.
If LeBron doesn't get any help, though, he won't be able to carry Miami every night like he did in Game 6.