Tag Archives: NBA Finals

Winners and Losers NBA Finals edition

I wrote a few days ago about Lebron in the internet age.  I have to admit it got me to thinking about how the Finals, and his entire career has been a no-win situation for him since he got here.  Hyped since day 1, it was impossible for him to be what everyone wanted him to be.  Why did we love Jordan?  Because we didn’t know we needed him to be the standard until he became it.

After winning game 6, the Cavs have forced a game 7 in the NBA Finals.  This will be the 18th Game 7 in NBA Finals history.  The last Finals to go 7? Lebron remembers- that was in 2013 when the Heat were saved by a miraculous 3 by Ray Allen in the final minute in Miami in game 6 against a talented Spurs team to win the second of their back to back titles.  The last team to overcome a three games to one deficit were the 1966 Lakers who took the series to 7 until ultimately losing to the Boston Celtics.

People have tried to force the buy into the dislike that the Warriors have for Lebron and vice versa by hyping up every back and forth between the two teams.  Want trash talk?  Red Auerbach announced before the season that he would retire after the season was over giving his haters one last shot at him in 1966.  After an emotionally uplifting come from behind victory in Game 1 by the Lakers, Auerbach pulled yet another one of his classic psychological chess moves by announcing that Bill Russell would succeed him as head coach becoming the first African American head coach in the NBA all but destroying any momentum the Lakers had going into game 2.  The Celtics won the next three by an average of 13 points and eventually won the series.

In 1951 The Rochester Royals went up three games to none against the New York Knicks.  The Knicks won the next three to force a Game 7 in improbable fashion…and then lost game 7.

What does this mean?  It means that doing what the Cavs have already done is ridiculously difficult.  Just so everyone’s on the same page, they are facing the greatest regular season team in the history of the NBA, the defending NBA champions.  They also have a lineup called the “lineup of death”.   They also employ the reigning two time defending NBA MVP who still has not had a signature game and there’s  an unsettling inevitability that it will happen.

Last night’s victory had wives losing their minds, then there were the psychological tricks the Cavs were supposedly playing on the Warriors family and friends bus.  But the Cavs didn’t win Game 6 in Cleveland for any other reason than Lebron James willed them there.  It got me to thinking about who could be the biggest winners and losers here once Sunday’s Game 7, not just within this series but in the NBA as a whole.  Here’s my list:

WINNERS (if Cavs win):

  1. Lebron James- If the Cavs manage to pull off what no one else has done in NBA history, which is win a Game 7 on the road, against the greatest regular season team in NBA history, after being down three games to one, it would catapult Lebron into a whole other stratosphere.  Songs would be sung about him, babies named after him, and streets too.  Historically, the significance of it would make him unlike any other athlete that has ever graced this game and hopefully would even give the Lebron haters some chill, though I doubt the Curry household would.  Also Lebron the GM would get a huge boost.
  2. Cleveland- This city hasn’t won a championship in so long, and has been starved for some real hardware that I don’t know if there will be a city left to do a parade on Monday morning.
  3. Kyrie Irving- He’s done more in these last two games to answer questions about his ability to lead a team than ever before.  Not at the level of James, but his Game 5 performance will be difficult to duplicate.  Shooting 71% and hitting some of the highest degree of difficulty shots you’ll ever see.  Also being called champion will help Kyrie shake the stigma of being a good player on a bad team.
  4. NBA- A small market like Cleveland winning will only make the NBA look better.  Even if I’m stirring the conspiracy theorists with this idea, the NBA needs to go into the next lockout having had a team from a small market win to prove that their current financial system has NOT kept small market teams at a disadvantage.
  5. Ty Lue- Taking over a team in midseason after a questionable coaching change which was rumored to be a Lebron power play and Lue has been admirable in not being the center of it all.  You can tell the Cavs players enjoy playing for him and go all out.  Even if we have no idea how to gauge his ability to coach because he’s coaching a stacked squad, Lue will have NBA champion on his resume as head coach and player and that’s a feat not many have accomplished.  In fact here’s the list: Rick Carlisle, Pat Riley, KC Jones, Phil Jackson, Billy Cunningham, Tommy Heinsohn, Bill Russell, and Red Holzman.  That’s some elite company no matter how much you give him credit for.

LOSERS (if Cavs win)

  1. Warriors being the greatest team in NBA history- The obvious choice, but really its their place in history.  It ain’t no thing if you ain’t got that ring.  Being the greatest regular season team of all time is a good accomplishment but nothing to write home about.  The Bulls will pop champagne, and those other teams like the 86 Celtics, 87 Lakers will all rest easy and have the right to puff out their chest and say they were better too.  If they lose Game 7, the Warriors will have lost as many games in the playoffs as they did during the entire 82 game regular season.
  2. The Curry’s- This is now the second Finals where he’s gone MIA.  Yes, he scored 30 points last night but it was the quietest 30.  He also fouled out of a game for the first time and showed un-Steph-Curry-like undisciplined behavior.  He’s the reigning two time MVP but if they lose this series after being up 3-1, Steph will bear a lot of the blame and for the first time in his career face criticism.  That should make for a fun summer for the Curry household.  Continuing in the Curry household- her twitter rant after Game 6 will be discussed incessantly until Game 7.  If they don’t win, I’m sure Warriors fans will support Ayesha’s thoughts and complain about how the NBA doesn’t want the Warriors to win.  This will harm the Curry brand which was really beginning to take off.  NBA and other corporate sponsors can’t be too happy about her flying off the handle.  They don’t take too kindly to being called names by wives or part of the crew types calling their product or company into question.
  3. Draymond Green- The nut job as I’m calling Game 5 will rank as one of the weirdest suspension/momentum turners in NBA history.  Green’s value is immense to the Warriors, but his play and attitude were limited in Game 6 as he played with the thought that any kind of brash play would likely see him get suspended for an all important Game 7.  I’m assuming he’s saving all that rage for do or die Game 7.
  4. Knicks fans/Celtics fans or any fan base that wants a superstar off their team and Kevin Love on it-  If the Cavs win, the push or Kickstarter campaign to trade Kevin Love will take a huge hit.  No complicated three way deal that will net the Cavs Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks draft picks they desperately need to continue the rebuild or no superstar Kevin Love to join the revolution in Boston.
  5. NBA refs- If the Cavs win, tape of Game 6 will be studied as closely as the Kings/Lakers series in 2002 and the Heat/Mavs series in 06.  Tim Donaghy’s legacy will be safe and secure.

WINNERS (if Warriors win)

  1. Steph Curry- No one stands to gain more by his team’s success than Steph Curry.  I’m not saying he’s a product of that system- you can’t make that argument for Steph when he’s undoubtedly the greatest shooter this sport has ever known.  But he’s pretty much been non-existent in the NBA finals for the second consecutive year and the internet notices shit like that.  I’m expecting a 30+ point effort, but I think the Cavs have allowed Steph to get his 30 albeit working hard, but he may have been exposed defensively.  Steph has to be aggressive in Game 7 and if he does, he can secure his legacy.
  2. Klay Thompson- It seems people discuss Steph and Draymond when it comes to this team, but Klay does as much as Dray on the defensive side of the ball (look at his assignments during each round of the playoffs, Harden, Lilliard, Westbrook and now Kyrie) and has done more than Steph on the offensive end.  The Warriors do NOT force a Game 7 against OKC without Klay’s insane 40 point game.  He loves being in the background which tells you why the Warriors have so much success because all of their stars are uncharacteristically unselfish and genuinely like playing with each other.
  3. Kevin Love trade mongers- Knicks fans/Celtics fans will be spending countless hours on the trade machine to try and figure out how to get Kevin Love to Boston and the Knicks with a few draft picks.
  4. Joe Lacob- His NYT article probably turned off a number of people.  It made him out to be the arrogant douchebag we’ve all come to expect the rich to be.  If the Warriors win, those people can all suck it.  Many of his enhancements have enabled the Warriors to become the standard for front offices to aspire to and Lacob will have engineered one of the greatest turnarounds for a franchise in sports history.
  5. NBA tweeners entering the draft- The shift in thinking about how to employ players like Draymond has changed.  Every league is copycat so many teams will look at players who fit that description during the draft and may reach to grab them in hopes of getting the next Draymond Green.  Denzel Valentine’s draft stock is already flying high and I’m sure teams will be paying close attention to shooters who can stretch the floor.  There will be teams trying to fit square pegs in round holes in hopes of duplicating the Warriors success.

LOSERS (if Warriors win)

  1. Lebron James- Because he’s Lebron and no matter what, the haters will come out.  That’s the burden he bears and whether right or wrong, fans will forget the back to back 41 point games and herculean effort to force a Game 7, only done twice before in NBA history in order to troll the King.
  2. Kevin Love- Second to Lebron, the NBA will collectively ponder the future of Kevin Love in Cleveland.  Since he got to Cleveland, it hasn’t been a clean fit and his play in Game 6 was everything you needed to know.  He picked up 2 fouls in the first three minutes and saw most of the second half from the bench.  This was a top 15 player in the NBA two years ago but things have NOT gone well.  Love will likely have to leave Cleveland and be put up on the pantheon of hated athletes in Cleveland.
  3. Old Guys- All the Hall of Famers who have opened their mouths about a jump shooting team winning will have to admit that they were wrong.  Which they still won’t do, but maybe next time we won’t pay attention to click bait articles about a quote from an 80’s player that discounts the Warriors success.  They can stop the whole Kurt Rambis would’ve stopped Lebron and Draymond from entering the lane.  Seriously you think THIS GUY is stopping Lebron from getting in the paint?
  4. Harrison Barnes Free Agency- Barnes had a chance to step up in the Finals and take a $100M contract even if everyone would be screaming that its a bad contract.   This Finals has only proved what we all knew.  This guy isn’t worth the money and while its still entirely possible that Barnes can go off in Game 7, and the cap is so crazy high and every team has so much money that they may throw money at him- I can’t see him being the star and Steve Kerr sat Barnes down for a majority of the second half while the Warriors were trying to make a comeback.  Kerr thought a clearly hobbled Andre Iguodola was a better option.  Ouch.
  5. City of Cleveland- It bears noting that no fan base is more prepared for defeat and gut wrenching loss than the City of Cleveland.  No fan base has seen their hopes dashed in the way this city has.  I will say that this team right now has very 2004-Red Sox feel to it to me.  Take it as you will.

 

 

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Thoughts on the NBA Finals

Game 3 thoughts here. I haven’t posted my feelings on game 1 and 2 but those are sooo last week. So let’s get on with my feelings on the series thus far.

– its been fascinating to see the public clamor over a Lebron James vs. Kevin Durant Finals when it’s merely a subplot. It’s a subplot to the bigger picture of Lebron’s career which includes validating his greatness with championship trophies that he promised the citizens of Miami the moment the “big 3” came. James is the biggest star and the villain once again in his third trip to the Finals and second in the black and red of the Miami Heat uniform. This is his second consecutive trip to the Finals and yet he by himself has earned the Yankee treatment: anything short of a championship trophy would be a failure. The pressure put on his shoulders makes us, those hoping Lebron fulfills his destiny- Star Wars style- the ridiculously overbearing parent who chides his child whenever he does something wrong. Who ridicules him when he misses a key free throw in the late stages. Who scream obscenities at him when he passes the ball to a teammate who is surprised by the pass because of his own expectation of Lebron. It’s a fascinating case study on the way we root for the best players in the game.

It’s interesting personally for me, who grew up bitter during Michael’s spectacular run through the NBA Finals during the 90’s because he made it his personal mission in life to eliminate the Knicks. Little did I know that he made it his mission in life to destroy everyone who stood in his way.

As I grew up and got older my feelings about Jordan changed. Age had brought me wisdom I suppose but it brought me perspective. My eyes were more open to the other Jordan. The brand. The shoes. The sheer greatness that I had witnessed and never got to relish because when you’re young you don’t appreciate shit unless your team wins. I couldn’t like Jordan. My blue and orange blood wouldn’t allow it. Of course that wisdom hasn’t allowed me to appreciate Pat Riley after he left since he continues to stick it to the Knicks even a decade later.

But now I look at Lebron and see a lot of the animus and bias I had when watching Jordan come to fruition in the shape of Lebron James. Yes, his story is far different from the glorified Michael Jordan years, but the NBA is still the same: market the heck out of the biggest star. Hope he makes good decisions and leverage the player’s greatness to global branding profits. More than any other sport: basketball markets the crap out of its players and makes no apology off profiting from that. The lesson here: we’re gonna make money off you, if you want to make money you’re more than welcome to.

And alot of the financial cache translates to on court favoritism. Though it was said in jest, the Jordan rules were very real. Ask Byron Russell how much of Jordan’s game 6 final shot in a Bulls uniform was push off and how much was good basketball move. Much of it is still alive in Lebron. He is now the financial cash cow that the league exploits and in turn allows to play under a different set of rules.

To say the referee missed the call standing five feet away in game 2 would be tough enough but throughout the playoffs the instances of favoritism are too numerous to mention. The argument then becomes: isn’t that what is supposed to happen? Shouldn’t superstars get favoritism anyway? Yes, but then how do you reconcile Kevin Durants foul woes? My favorite response is: Durant hasn’t paid his dues. Why? Because he’s 23? Is he pledging a fraternity? Is he climbing the corporate ladder? Perhaps he is. Maybe this is his rite of passage. Durant is only going to enter his prime in 4 years which should also begin Lebron’s decline. A perfect passing of the refereeing baton and the NBA’s full scale global push.

So this series isn’t just Lebron vs Durant, it’s the NBA doing what it does best: putting its star in a position to shine; he need merely to take the baton and run with it.

– The biggest loser here is Russell Westbrook. The Heat’s biggest problem these last two years has been its inability to figure out its power chart. Lebron came to Wade’s team. Lebron is the better player so why isn’t he the defacto leader? So I found Dwayne Wade’s admission that he was in fact deferring to Lebron as a calculated moment of catharsis. No superstar of Wade’s ilk admits that without there being some deeper motive behind it. And usually it’s organizationally endorsed. It tells me more about Lebron and how sensitive he is to the question than anything.

So why is Westbrook the loser? Because he wants to be the man. He is physically gifted enough to be fooled into thinking he could be the man. But it’s so clear that Kevin Durant is the man. Westbrook is in a lose lose situation. Shoot and miss and feel the wrath of a fan base that ONLY wants you to pass to the other guy. Shoot and make it and the fans are just happy they got away with it. It’s a thankless job for one of the game’s brightest young stars.

It will be interesting how deep the emotional scar will be if the Thunder lose this series. This is clearly Kevin Durant’s team and their success will ultimately be at his feet while it’s failure will be laid at the footstool of the point guard who refuses to subjugate himself to the amazing powers of Kevin Durant. How long will Westbrook carry the baggage of being a lackey? Will he yearn to be the man somewhere? He’s been playing good sport for a while now but it’s clear he wants to be the hero and who knows if sometime in the future it leads to discord and a request to be traded. Its not inconceivable.

Remember also that James Harden emerged as a better secondary option than Westbrook who is miscast as a point guard. The looming decision of whether to sign Harden to an extension could mean that Westbrook has to take a backseat even more.

Which is why as important as this championship is for the future of the Miami Heat, it could be equally important to the future of the Thunder.

– Scotty Brooks rejecting a 3 year $11 million extension seems bizarre given Sam Presti’s ability to get the best deal at the end of the day. The gears in my brain started working and I put Phil Jackson’s recent comments regarding the Knicks and rejuvenation his chance to re enter the fray as a coach. His penchant for entering already established teams is well known. What about the triangle for OKC? It’s a nice thought but lets be honest: Phil would have to take a pay cut to come to OKC. I don’t see Presti handing out a contract upwards of $40 million to a coach approaching 80 but we know Phil’s ability of handling egos and managing young talent and bringing it all together to win a championship. Apart from the Laker job, I can’t see any other job catching his interest. Miami makes sense purely from a basketball point of view but he and Pat Riley don’t seem be a good fit. Riley would take over that team before Phil ever came to town.

I believe he had real interest in the Knick job but given James Dolans lack of common sense being a huge deterrent to winning championships rather than box office I believe Phil will stay away. I think it was in poor taste for Jackson, not to say what he said but to say it the way he did. Calling them clumsy seems more like a personal attack on the regime than the players. Saying Carmelo is a ball stopper or that Amar’e and he don’t fit are not moments of epiphany for Knick fans. This is something we painfully found out despite suspending our common sense over a season. Thats just sour grapes over the Knicks not even giving uncle Phil a courtesy call. That was admittedly dumb on the Knicks part but my suspicion is that the Knicks went cheap and refused to give Phil his money. The cheap shot may be Phil’s way of further driving up his price and letting the Knicks know: thanks but no thanks. Which is what he could’ve done from the beginning but…..

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Seriously Lebron- What’s up?

52 to 11.

That’s Dirk Nowitzki’s fourth quarter tally and that second number is Lebron James.

I am going to preface this by saying I didn’t watch all of Game 5 but the beauty of social networking websites and 24 hour sports news networks and league specific channels running on an all day clock make it so that you NEVER have to kick yourself for not setting your DVR.

A few days ago I wrote an article questioning what was eating Lebron James.  What could possibly be weighing on his mind that could possibly cause a second consecutive crash and burn for the self-appointed King James?  If you believe the internet, then its Rashard Lewis.  But Mike Wise had a great line in his Washington Post article which says it best:

“After boxing, nothing affords a naked-eye view of a supreme talent like basketball. Viewers see James’s mood swings, interpret his body language, see the fidgety nibbling of his nails, the primal roar after a malicious slam, and they instantly feel they know him in a way they could never know a helmeted free safety or a masked goaltender.”

And we all feel that instant connection to Lebron James, the most televised athlete in the history of the game.  Lebron the phenom came up at just the right time, as social networking was exploding, as tv cameras were following child prodigies around, everyone carrying around smartphones so we would never miss a score, and as DVR’s made it possible for people to NEVER miss an important sports game ever again.  So his connection with us is instant.  We see everything even this unbelievable footage of Wade and Lebron clowning Dirk and acting as if he were putting on a performance with the reports of a sinus flu.

Yet, the biggest act has been this Lebron James.  Whoever this Lebron James is.  Is the real Lebron the guy who torched Boston and absolutely destroyed Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls?  Or is it THIS James, on the biggest stage of his career and looking about as lost as a kid who walked into the wrong classroom on the first day of school.*
*= not like that ever happened to me 

For James haters this is best case scenario: the Heat losing, and Lebron being a shadow in the fourth quarter shrinking under the weight and burden that his talent brings.  Who is Lebron James?  He’s the most televised athlete of our generation and yet we have no clue what he is.  But we will find that out in Game 6 and perhaps Game 7.  The law of averages for a talent of his kind suggests that he will get it together, put his skirt away and bring his man pants to American Airlines Arena in Miami on Sunday and help the Heat reclaim some of the lost momentum.

Of course, if they don’t, Lebron may never recover.  The camera tells the whole story.  Nail biting.  Lebron looking around for someone to get this hot potato we call a basketball away from him.  The pathetic display of emotion when he creates a turnover.  You know, the “I gotta show something here so that fans don’t think I don’t care” look of half ass incredulous-ness.*
*= yeah, I just created a word right there- deal with it! 

But if these last few outings have proven anything its this: we now have a clear understanding of who’s the man.  Its almost universal that Lebron James is the better player than Dwayne Wade.  But perhaps even that discussion is changing and shifting.  Because its what have you done for me lately and lately James hasn’t done diddly.  Wade, with bruised hip and all, sitting a quarter managed 23 points.  Lebron happy to play stat-sheet killer threw up a triple double and still the haters were in full force.

His supporters will run to that argument: are you kidding me? He had a triple double.  What else do you want him to do?

The only problem with that argument is he came to Miami because his supporting cast was infinitely better here.  Yes, I’m even giving Chris Bosh some props because I can’t be more impressed by him.  He can’t fall on that safety crutch that his teammates suck like he could in Cleveland.  Dwayne Wade has consistently shown up.  He will get the Finals MVP if the Miami Heat win.  Chris Bosh has been better than I EVER expected on the glass and he’s been consistent with his jumper.  But everyone’s waiting for Lebron to show up.

Don’t count him out either.  With his kind of talent you never want to give a guy like that motivation but the Mavs have consistently given him that motivation throughout.  Deshawn Stevenson said he quit.  Jason Terry dared him to think he could guard him for the next five games like that.  These threats should’ve fueled Lebron to have a monster games 4 and 5 and yet, it seemingly deflated him even more.  The thought process here is this: what’s going on that Lebron can’t seem to focus?  Where is Lebron James when his team needs him?

Physically its tough to miss him, mentally he’s miles away.  In his mind, the Heat have won the title and he’s playing pick up games with Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.  He probably hasn’t seen the huge banner that reads FINAL on it.  This is it Lebron.  Make or break.  Its about that time.

Oh wait, he said that too.

Now all this is making sense.  Lebron wasn’t teaming up with Wade, he was running to Wade.  Lebron said it perfectly: he was taking his talents to South Beach to be Wade’s lackey.  It makes sense that Scottie Pippen, always jealous of Michael Jordan and never able to do what he did, would dis Michael to give props to Lebron.  Because he sees everything in him that he saw in Lebron.  He wants everyone to make THAT comparison.  Lebron is Scottie 2.0.  And ya know what Scottie?  You’re right.  He is.  He’s Karl Malone 2.0.  He’s freaking Shawn Kemp 15.0 (i mean he has a lot of baby mama drama doesn’t he?).  Yep, he’s the evolution of the talented Superstar with one glaring thing missing: that ring.

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Dealing with Game 1 ramifications

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.”

Gulp.

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.

Gulp.

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