Miami Heat's Magical Season Capped off with an NBA Championship
LeBron said it himself: Not two, not three, not four, not five, etc. But right now, the Big Three would be very content with just one.
They got the first one.
And in doing so, the King can now take his rightful place on the throne, and can take his Finals MVP trophy with him.
The Miami Heat are on top of the basketball world yet again.
There's no time to look to the future, but only to look back at the past and laugh in the face of the criticism and ridicule that was pointed in the direction of not only James, but the entire Miami Heat team.
One year after the Dallas Mavericks made them look like a junior varsity team in the NBA Finals, the Heat finally silenced the doubters and haters, and brought the Larry O'Brien trophy back to Miami with a convincing 121-106 win in Game 5 over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Before we go any more in depth about the champs, not one single person in the world should question the heart and the determination of the Thunder. Not many people expected them to make it this far, running into teams like the Mavs, Lakers and Spurs along the way.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden showed the world that OKC is primed to be a formidable force in the NBA for years to come, and perhaps have also showed the world they are the team that will challenge Miami for multiple championships years down the road.
Now, back to the team of the hour.
For 365 days, everyone ranging from fans to analysts were critiquing every move that the Miami players made, whether it would be something they said in the media or even on Twitter. Everyone used their own words as ammo to try and affect their team chemistry.
And for the most part, it worked. One can say that the pressure and the words got to the Heat last year, which would end up being their downfall in the NBA Finals.
I think it's safe to say that the pressure is off, now.
Game 5 was a magical moment to witness for not only the three stars on the team, but for those who contributed in a way that no one would expect them to.
When people look back at this series, they'll remember Mario Chalmers' 25 points in Game 4 that gave the Heat a convincing 3-1 lead.
With LeBron suffering those dreaded cramps and unable to play for a good portion of the final quarter, Chalmers' clutch play paved the way for Miami to put a stranglehold on OKC that they couldn't recover from.
Mike Miller came out of the dark abyss—not having made a single three-pointer the entire series—and delivered one of the greatest bench performances in the history of an NBA Finals game, nailing seven three-pointers and finished with 23 points.
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Every second that Miller took a step on the court, it looked like he was in excruciating pain with those back problems that he's been experiencing in the latter years of his career. But his toughness and grit kept him going. It was truly one of the greatest and most wonderful performances that's ever been done by a role player, and he deserves a championship.
Shane Battier played the series of his life, averaging over 10 points a game and making three-pointer after three-pointer.
The depth of the role players that was largely discussed by Miami had never been a greater issue, and Battier started the domino effect that opened the door for guys like Miller, James Jones and Norris Cole to make big-time shots.
Chris Bosh didn't return to the Heat lineup after suffering that abdominal strain until the latter part of the Boston series, and he took on a different role and playing style that we had never seen from him. He was crashing the boards more effectively than the Thunder frontcourt and he was providing the low-post scoring that Miami so desperately needed.
Wade further etched his name into the NBA's best with another championship, fighting through knee injuries and other forms of pain to get it. He averaged over 20 points a game in this series despite struggling to be the superstar we are accustomed of him being.
And finally, the King.
LeBron has endured it all. What can the critics say now?
He recorded two triple-doubles in the finals, even an impressive one in the close-out Game 5.
Not only that, but he showed everyone that he can be a clutch player.
It all started with the bank shot in Game 2 that gave Miami the lead, and then with the two free throws to ice the game and tie the series at a game apiece.
Then in Game 4, after the cramps, LeBron returned to the court and nailed perhaps the biggest shot of his career—a three in the face of Thabo Sefolosha that gave the Heat the lead for good, and the 3-1 series lead.
On Thursday night, with the throne polished and the scepter at his side, LeBron grabbed the moment and showed the world—as he has throughout this postseason—that he can deliver the goods in the big moment.
And in the biggest moment of his career, LeBron took the pressure and his Finals MVP trophy and shoved it down his critics' throats.
Your move, Skip Bayless.
I'm pretty sure LeBron's never tasted a better champagne than what he's drinking for the celebration.
Now the season has come to an end, and Chapter 2 of the Big Three era ends in a championship and a parade down Biscayne Boulevard.
Are you happy that the Big Three won their first championship together?
The Big Three captured the gold and can party like it's 1999.
The question is, can they do it again? Maybe that's a stupid question.
They're going to be the favorites yet again to win it all again next year, and the test will be if they can do it during an 82-game season as opposed to a 66-game season.
But will anyone dare to vote against them?
Now that the monkey's off their back, Miami can come back next year with a much more loose feel to their play and can just go out and compete like a team. Plus, having done it in the way that had to be done, with LeBron winning the MVP, there's no question that they'll be locked in and ready to go for a repeat.
But right now, it can only be better summed up by LeBron as he accepted his MVP trophy: "It's about damn time."
The Heat are back on top of the basketball world, and are here to stay for awhile.
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