Watching the final minutes of the Miami Heat's epic 111-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, which trimmed the Lakers' lead in the NBA Finals to 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Sunday, I found myself thinking about the climactic fight in Rocky IV.
It's the middle of the last round. Rocky and Ivan Drago can barely stand they're so exhausted, but they're still throwing, and landing, one blow after another. And in the middle of this blood-spattering brawl, the announcer, the real-life Barry Thompkins, looks up from his ringside seat at these two warriors and says: "Forget technique. Forget strategy. This is just a street fight. It's a question of who wants it most."
That's Jimmy Butler and LeBron James right now.
You can talk about pick and rolls and switches and every X and O you can think of, but in the end, these dudes, these absolute warriors, are just straight-up brawling. The roles fit, too. LeBron is Drago, a physical specimen unlike anything the game has ever seen. Butler is Balboa, ever the underdog who will fight like his life is on the line every time he steps on the floor.