Heat vs. Cavaliers: Evaluating LeBron James' Return To Cleveland After Decision

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIDecember 3, 2010

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 01:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Detroit Pistons at American Airlines Arena on December 1, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

LeBron James and the Miami Heat took their talents to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers in LeBron's first return to his former team, making this arguably the most anticipated game of this season.

As we all know, James opted to leave Cleveland in favor of joining Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami during this offseason's free agency period. As a result, he drew immense hatred and criticism from fans all around the league.

Now fast forward to present, and the Heat have not been able to meet their high expectations, struggling to overcome their chemistry and identity problems. They're currently riding a bumpy road that any newly formed squad usually is bound to take.

Nonetheless, they absolutely embarrassed the Cavs today with a 118-88 victory. 

Of course, the end result wasn't the most important issue at hand. What truly mattered was the play of the 'self-proclaimed King'. Interestingly enough, he silenced the boos with an impressive performance tonight as he finished with a season-high 38 points along with 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Note, he did this only three quarters of play before head coach Erik Spoelstra made the wise choice to keep him on the bench. 

He was streaky in the first half, but still led the game with 14 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. He seemed at ease, and didn't allow the hostile environment to affect his play early on.

Switching gears, I agree with TNT analyst Charles Barkley when he said that the Cavaliers are not playing as if they had a chip on their shoulder and that it was a disservice to the fans. 

Regardless, the Cavs were unable to comeback from the 19-point deficit and simply lacked the firepower to knock out an upper echelon team. 

James continued to attack in the 3rd quarter and scored an incredible 24 points in the period. All in all, he frequently displayed the dominance he imposed over the first seven years of his career. 

Since 'The Decision', Cavalier fans have frankly been very 'emotional' to say the least. Today, they got a dose of reality and better have realized that they need to move on from the entire fiasco. When LeBron left, he hurt the Cavs much more than he hurt his 'legacy'. They got the losing end of the deal, and it was very obvious today.

And, in contrary to what owner Dan Gilbert stated in his unprofessional letter, they certainly won't win a championship before LeBron does.

Today, LeBron validated his reasoning to leave as he gave a big f*ck you to the entire city of Cleveland. 

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