NBA Playoffs 2012: Why LeBron James, Miami Heat Will Capture Championship
When Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 of the Chicago Bulls' opening playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, everything changed. The Heat instantly were the Beasts of the East, while James and Co. licked their lips, ready to go in for the kill.
The Heat will knock the New York Knicks out of the playoffs on Wednesday in Game 5, and then, they will proceed to their next opponent. The team the Heat faces next is irrelevant. There is no team in the nation that can beat them in a seven-game series.
The Heat have once again ridden the combo of James and Dwyane Wade all season (with some Chris Bosh sprinkled in). They may not have the chemistry the Bulls had with Rose, but that is replaced with sheer talent.
James will win the NBA MVP this season. Then again, that should come as no surprise. He already has two MVPs to his name and is unquestionably the best player in the NBA.
He averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals in the regular season. He shot 53 percent from the floor, while nailing 36 percent of his three-point attempts. He's the closest thing we have to Magic Johnson today, as he makes everyone around him better.
The Heat won't steamroll the competition, and they will have their fair share of hiccups while they get used to playing with one another. They aren't a perfect team.
But they have a great defense, and their offense can simply blow past opponents. When James and Wade are clicking, nobody can stop them. And I mean nobody.
Will the Heat win the NBA title this season?
Another thing to note: James has ceded closing duties to Wade at times throughout the season.
After his trouble closing games in last season's playoffs, that's a smart move. But even when James has put the game on his shoulders this season, he's been much better. He's beginning to realize he can be both a facilitator and a scorer, and he's taking what the defense gives him.
There are a wealth of teams who have a shot at the title this season, but this is the Heat's year—especially after Rose's injury.
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