The Miami Heat are the NBA Champions!
NBA Finals MVP, LeBron James
By G. George, IVN Sports Writer
Miami, FL– The Miami Heat captured the 2012 NBA Championship against Oklahoma City Thunder in grand fashion last Thursday. It was an exhilarating atmospheric experience to see the Heat organization and fans joyfully celebrating in the American Airlines Arena.
They certainly have a right to rejoice after the woeful agony of seeing the Dallas Mavericks celebrating in their arena last year. This is the Heat’s year of redemption; especially for LeBron James. With the mountain of mega-media criticism that he has received since then; it has allowed him to emerge in triumphant glory. Finally, after nine years into his basketball career, he earns his first NBA Championship. In addition to that, he is awarded the MVP trophy by the great Bill Russell, for his triple-double performance; 26 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds. “It’s everything and more,” said James after the game. “You know, I dreamed about this opportunity and this moment for a long time, including last night, including today. You know, my dream has become a reality now, and it’s the best feeling I ever had.” Last year he disappeared in the crunch time, while this year he stepped up and had the “it factor” for his team. Also his attitude has changed from selfish, to that of a humble man. “The best thing that happened to me last year was us losing The Finals,” said James. … “It humbled me. I knew what it was going to have to take, and I was going to have to change as a basketball player, and I was going to have to change as a person to get what I wanted. You know, it happened just one year later.” LeBron can now take a bow and breathe a sigh of relief, as this is the capstone that now validates him amongst the elite NBA players.
“You know, we’re all so proud of LeBron, and none of us understood it, said Coach Spoelstra. “When you get to know LeBron, you don’t understand why he was such a lightning rod for the criticism, and all of just the incessant critiques about a player who embodies all the qualities you want of a champion.” Now we can get on with the rest of the story, because LeBron was the story!
In that final game the Heat exemplified their slogan: “White Hot”, as they scorched the Thunder and cruised to victory, 121 – 106. In addition to LeBron’s scoring barrage was: Bosh 24, Miller 23, Wade 20, Battier 11, and Chalmers 10. Miller saved his best for last, as he went wild shooting 7-for-8 from three-point land. “Mike Miller, I don’t know how this guy was playing,” said Coach Spoelstra. “I literally only planned on playing him three or four minutes tonight. That’s all I thought he could go. Dwayne got in foul trouble, and then he started knocking down threes, so we left him in there. It was pure adrenaline and competitive will.”
There would be no possibility of the Heat returning to Oklahoma for a sixth or seventh game, because it was a wrap, as they dismantled the young Thunder team. They outperformed the Thunder in every area: shooting percentage 52% – 41%, rebounds 41- 38, assist s 25 – 19, blocks 7 – 3, etc. I have to say it; “the Heat were championship caliber ready.” There was no doubt about it that the Heat were the dominant team in this series as they won it 4 –1. The fulfillment of the multiple championships with the orchestration of the “The Big Three”, LeBron James, DeWayne Wade, and Chris Bosh is now the beginning of that reality. They have now accomplished it in only their second attempt under the helm of Eric Spoelstra. He did an incredible job coaching the “Big Three”, with the endorsement of Pat Riley that believed in him when many doubted him. He has now achieved greatness as well.
The Thunder were under the pressure to perform at a level of expectation that they weren’t ready for as the Heat’s experience overpowered them. They deserve a lot of credit as they conqueror some great teams (Mavericks, Lakers, and Spurs), to get to the Finals. But the offensive and defensive demands were just too much for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to carry. “It hurts. It hurts, man,” said Durant. “We’re all brothers on this team, and it just hurts to go out like this. We and we will continue to work hard. … Unfortunately we lost, so it’s tough. It’s tough, man. That’s the only way I can explain it. But as a whole, I’m proud of the guys on how we fought all season.” Coach Scott Brooks took his team as far as he could as the confidence and performance of the other team members seemed too disappeared. “Well, I just told the guys, we didn’t win a championship this year, but they gave it a championship effort all season long,” said Brooks. “It’s something I’m proud of. I love our guys. I love what they’re about. They’re winners.” The double-digit scoring for the Thunder: Durant 32, Westbrook and Harden 19, and Fisher 11. The series performance by Westbrook was outstanding. “They just found a way to win, man,” said Westbrook. “I don’t think our guys came out and didn’t want to defend, but just unfortunate for us and how hard these guys work on this team to get better… I don’t know what it came down to, but they just were the better team.” I believe that this loss will inspire the Thunder to become a better team next year.
In conclusion: as I see it; it was the engine and brakes theory that prevailed. The Heat’s engine had more horsepower (offense), and better brakes (defense). Thus they came out on top to win it all.