Long live the King.
For all of our sakes, so he may continue to allow us to watch the greatest display of basketball since another King of the court was finishing up a three-peat.
30.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists per in 23 postseason games. 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.3 assists per in five NBA Finals games. LeBron James had himself one hell of run, didn’t he? Through all the scrutiny, the uncertainty, the criticism, the doubters, naysayers and angry people that don’t like to see other people garner success, LeBron James just completed one of the greatest postseason runs in NBA history.
And he isn’t stopping there. No, this is just the beginning. The floodgates are open; the levees are broken. There’s no stopping the dark and powerful water that will soon engulf the NBA and all of those who inhabit it. It’s not their fault and they didn’t deserve it; it’s just what happens when a whole bunch of things combine to make something glorious occur.
As James put it so eloquently, “It’s about damn time.”
It is about damn time, isn’t it? It is about time that the Heat won 121-106 in Game 5 to take home their second championship in franchise history. It’s about time the three superstars of the Heat realized their potential and put it to good use. It’s about time the shooters began to make their shots. It’s about time this entire team learned how to win as a team, unlike last year when they were five strangers standing on a court.
It’s about time these guys, and the entire franchise, have received some sort of relief and satisfaction from the mental and physical abuse they have become victims of since the summer of 2010. From the reigning Finals MVP down to the very fans that made deafening “M-V-P” chants Thursday night, nobody was safe from the talk that surrounded this team.
Talk is cheap because it doesn’t prove anything. Anyone can do it and that’s why so many people jumped on the Heat-hating bandwagon. Because it was the fun and easy thing to do. It was so much easier to dislike this team, instead of sitting down, watching and thinking, “Wow, these guys really are good.”
A large majority of those people will probably be joining myself on Biscayne Boulevard this Monday. The others? They’ll continue to sit in their rooms and doom and gloom over the thought of the Heat winning. They’ll also attempt to make new arguments against the Heat, but it doesn’t matter because who the fuck cares anymore.
Forget those people. As much as I wanted to rub everyone’s shit-eating face in this win, I believed allowing them to continue talking and watching the Heat have champagne bukake’s was enough of a punishment.
Excuse my grammar, but you mad?
If seeing Chris Bosh showering himself with white foam and making a perfect orgasm face doesn’t make you require a change of shorts, I suggest questioning your sexuality.
I guess it’s about time I start talking about the game itself. No use in gloating over the Miami Heat’s 2012 championship without gloating over the way the team managed to secure that ‘chip. After all, this is the last game of the year which means we need to get it all out of our systems.
Following four consecutive games that were decided in the fourth quarter, the Heat just ran up to each Oklahoma City Thunder player during intro’s and kicked them in the teeth. It was a perfect precursor of what was to come because the Miami Heat played like a team that was one game away from winning a championship.
Miami came out firing from inside and outside throughout the first half, but it still wasn’t enough to put away the Thunder. Only a ten-point deficit after all of the three-pointers that were being hit and the number of shots being made inside had the Heat faithful a little wary. It only got worse when the Thunder immediately cut the lead to five early in the third.
Then, Mike Miller happened. No shit, Mike Miller. Seriously, I’m not making this up, Mike Miller. The ‘Dawn of the Dead’ extra who shuffles around the court came out of nowhere and legitimately became the reason why the Heat won in the manner they did.
23 points, three more than Dwyane Wade, and five rebounds for Mike Miller, who converted on 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. Miller would set an NBA record for the most three-pointers in a Finals game by a non-starter, and would also be the main contributor in the Heat tying an NBA Finals record for most three-pointers in a game as a team with 14.
Yes, the team that couldn’t hit the ocean from a boat at numerous points in these playoffs just tied an NBA record for hitting three-pointers. Miller’s seven obviously led the way, Battier finished with three, Mario Chalmers had two and Chris Bosh and Norris Cole each had one.
The reason for this dramatic turnaround in three’s? A combination of players finally starting to make their shots and LeBron James freeing them up in the post. James was too dominant in the post to be single-guarded, so the Thunder made it a purpose to throw double-teams at him early and often.
All this led to was Heat shooters getting open on the perimeter, which is why Miller ended up seven more three-pointers than he had coming into this game. Go ahead and take a look at every single three-pointer by the Heat and you’ll notice James assisting on a great number of them because of his influence to attract two or three players and his ability to pass out of pressure.
James finished the night with 13 assists to go along with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Yeah, I did completely forget to mention that LeBron ended an NBA Finals with a triple-double. You tend to just get caught up in so many ball-crushing stats that you forget some of the more obvious ones sitting there in plain sight.
It’s just another gargantuan middle-finger to all whoever doubted James at one time during his career.
Along with James’ and Miller’s efforts, Dwyane Wade also chipped in 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals and Chris Bosh finished with 24 points, seven boards and two blocks. Every Heat starter scored at least ten points, making it six players in total to score in double figures.
How did that happen, Mike?
It was simply a combination of players stepping up when needed most and embracing the moment. That’s the effect LeBron James can have on you. The guy is oozing with so much confidence that it tends to rub off on his teammates. When you see James out there having fun and playing the game he wants to play, the pressure sort of wears off and you also go out and play your game.
James is a natural born facilitator. If he wanted to go out and get 40 points per night, he would. He’s not that type of player, though. He’s always looking for the best possible option to score and is always willing to pass it out to the open shooter who has a better chance of making a shot on that possession.
Game 5 was just a thing of beauty. There was a third quarter stretch of Heat basketball where I sat it awe and watched some of the most masterful execution, shooting and passing I’ve seen in my long basketball watching career. Miami outscored the Thunder 36-22 in the quarter and stretched a five-point lead to 24 going into the fourth.
Anybody see that coming? The Heat holding a 24-point lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder going into the final 12 minutes of a possible series clincher? You didn’t. I know you didn’t because I didn’t. As much as I wanted the Thunder to lay down and die, I didn’t expect the Heat to go for the throat and actually continue to go at it for the rest of the game.
Oklahoma City just didn’t have the firepower. Kevin Durant had another incredible game with 32 points and 11 boards, but his teammates were nonexistent. Russell Westbrook shot 4-of-20 for 19 points and James Harden had 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting. A solid effort by Harden, but his defense canceled out anything positive on the offensive end.
I have nothing but respect for Durant and every Heat fan should, too. He’s absolutely incredible and could very well be on James’ level if he had anywhere near the defensive skillset and the passing ability LeBron has. He’s only 23, however, so we can only look forward to future Finals matchups between those two.
The Thunder’s depth was exposed by the Heat. There was absolutely no one capable of guarding LeBron James. Kevin Durant, Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden were all given chances and they all failed miserably because of James’ versatility. Too big and too fast and those are the physical attributes LeBron likes to thrive on.
This NBA Finals wasn’t even about James’ physical attributes. Of course it had a lot to do with it; did you not see how he powered through Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins on layup attempts throughout the game? However, the difference between this years NBA Finals and any other series prior to this year is solely because of James’ mentality.
Half this game is having the right mentality. You need to maintain focus at all times for 48 minutes and never allow opportunities to slip away. When James get cocky near the end of Game 2 of last year’s Finals, the Heat ended up losing. Losing that game completely rocked James’ confidence and it cost him his first NBA title.
That’s exactly why I’ve said losing the 2011 NBA Finals was the best thing to happen to James and this team. It completely redefined James’ image. Overnight, he turned from this fun-loving, overzealous and cocky individual to a basketball player with a strictly business mindset and an overall matured game.
Imagine if James had been playing in the paint his whole career like he has throughout these playoffs. That came as a result of losing the Finals, as well. The Mavericks constantly forced LeBron to play with his back-to-the-basket and he couldn’t show consistent success because it was out of his comfort zone, which was formerly the perimeter.
James went to work with Hakeem Olajuwon over the summer and showcased that post game throughout the year. While his offensive repertoire could still use some work, he still knows how to use his size and how to pass out of the double teams that come as a result of his size in the post. It’s petrifying to think that he’ll only get better as the year’s go on.
This is the LeBron James we’re going to see for the rest of his career. An MVP always on a mission to make himself and his teammates better. A Finals MVP always attempting to maximize the talent out of his teammates.
Most of all, an NBA Champion that is simply doing what every kid shooting in his driveway wants to do when he goes pro–win a lot of important games. The King has finally be crowned and a new era of the NBA has finally started. LeBron James is undoubtedly the best basketball player in the world and the Miami Heat is the best basketball team in the world.
And it’s just getting started.