Though the court dimensions are the same, the Finals are played on a stage far greater than any of the previous postseason games. That spotlight, and media crush, combined with the strength of the opponent and the proximity to a championship, forces athletes into playing with a focus and passion that is unique to the Finals. Some melt under the pressure, while others manage to play in the same manner they are accustomed to.
But a few, the special few, rise above and find a level of play that they only dreamed they could reach. Perhaps they'll do that for an entire series but more typically it's in a game or two, or even just a quarter or a half -- enough to make the difference between winning and losing. And though we have stars making amazing plays, the best three players in this series have to bring more to the game to ensure victory.