Don’t quote me on this but: its over ya’ll.
It has been for a while but we never wanted to admit it. We talked ourselves into adjmustment periods. We talked ourselves into the whole “these guys can’t close”, “they aren’t clutch” arguments. We even went as far as to say “they aren’t THAT good.”
They are. If these playoffs have been anything its been the Heatles last song in a season long concert of hits. Some were dicey and murky but in the end, these guys figured it out and have made it work.
Remember when we wondered who would be taking the last shot? That debate is now moot because it doesn’t really matter. Lebron and Wade seem to tag each other in in close moments and will their team to victory.
Last night was Lebron’s first Finals victory of many presumably. If they can lift this squad of ho hums and nobodies then imagine what will happen when they fill out this squad with more talent. How many Juwan Howards and Mike Bibby’s will forego extra dollars just to ride the James-Wade express to a championship?
This is only beginning folks. When Dirk Nowitzki lifted up his finger to show the torn tendon that he suffered in the third quarter going for a strip of Chris Bosh- it might as well have been the white flag he was waving.
Jeff Van Gundy said it best: “the difference between the Mavs and the Heat are that Miami has Lebron James and the Mavs don’t.”. Simply put he’s the great game changer. He pulls 60 regular season victories out of his hat. He shows great feel and poise for the game. He has incredible range as evidenced by his third quarter fall away three at the buzzer. He now has added fourth quarter closer to his reportoire.
There is no place left for any Lebron hater to go. His game is that good- we’ve always recognized that. We have nitpicked and enjoyed his misery when he misses but those are Jordan like qualities he possesses. He’s so good, he makes us hate him but marvel at the same time.
When I was growing up Michael Jordan consistently put an asswhooping on my beloved Knicks when it mattered. In the playoffs he could not be beat. It wasn’t close. In the regular season he was human though he tried not to show it. The Knicks would beat the Bulls and Knick fans like myself had this false sense of superiority that eventually came crashing down when Mike would eventually turn it to a level that John Starks, Patrick Ewing and Co. could only dream of.
Look at the teams Lebron has vanquished. It was like his teams never beat the Celtics. The season series was 3-1 in favor of Boston. 0-3 versus the Chicago Bulls. Both series went in 5. Finally the Heat were 0-2 against Dallas this season but after game 1, its 1-0 in favor of the MoHeat-os.
As a Lebron hater its difficult to view him as anything but a coat tail rider and prima donna and every other nasty synonym of loser I can conjure up. But as a basketball fan I’m in awe. A great one is forging his legacy before our eyes. He’s asked for this attention, and gotten it, his whole life. Now on his sport’s biggest stage he’s teaming up with his friend D-Wade to claim the last bit of relevant gold he has yet to put his stamp on: the NBA championship.
Of course the comparisons to Michael will only intensify. In the aftermath of these Finals, it will go from Lebron winning his first championship to talk to me when he wins six. After that, what will Lebron haters like myself do? Will we ask him to lead his team to a better than 72-10 mark? 82-0? Hey Lebron, betcha can’t score more than 100 in a game. Yo Bron, nice triple double but can you do that over an entire season like the Big O? What will we have?
Why? Because we’ve waited for MJ’s successor for so long. Because we wanted Lebron to be that dude. No matter what we say, Lebron is the closest thing we have to MJ. Maybe not better Scottie, but close enough. He’s the next version of the MJ type. The successor, the evolution of the Jordan gene. We don’t want to admit this but this is what we want.
We want someone to take the reins and ride the horse. We want to witness greatness and marvel and hate on it. We want Lebron to be what we know he can be: the best. Period.
Last night’s late game pull away has been like a script the Heat have acted to perfection this postseason. Line for line, scene to scene, it was a virtuoso performance by 2 of the best players, and Chris Bosh, who has done a more than serviceable job cleaning up the boards and tip ins that he’s managed to be very good but that’s as far as I’ll go in praising him.
The Heat have never looked like they weren’t in command and their defense has been the catalyst. The Heat’s speed and ability to cover ground force Dallas’ shooters to not have the kind of open looks and opportunities they’ve been used to seeing these playoffs. Terry, Peja, Deshaun Stevenson all had hands in their faces as soon as the ball reached them. One by one they lost their confidence and they folded under the Heat of Miami’s defense. The Mavs were supposed to be the deeper team, but it was the Heat who gained steam as the game went on.
It all adds up to a Heat game one win and a preview of things to come for several years. The Heat are only going to get better folks. Admit the inevitable and just enjoy the ride.