NBA FINALS Game 4: Miami 104, OKC 98
Well, it’s all but over now.
After Miami’s Game 2 win in OKC, I kind of teased Miami Heat fans just a little when I told them, “Just think you could be celebrating the NBA Championship on your homecourt in Game 5.”
I must admit that not even I believed that would be a possibility for the Heat.
I picked the Heat to win the series in large part because I believed that LeBron James, after all of the years, heartbreak, and criticism of his unbelievable talents, was FINALLY ready to put his team on his back and do whatever necessary, in whatever situation, to lead his team to an NBA Championship.
But I thought that it was going to be in 7 games.
Last night in sunny Miami, Florida, the Miami Heat moved to within one win of putting a small dent in all of the numerous championships that the team promised to Miami Heat fans in the aftermath of the LeBron James and Chris Bosh signings.
LeBron James damn near messed around and got a triple double with 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 12 assists, and had it not been for late game cramps that side lined the King in the final minutes, you have to believe he would have gotten it.
Dwyane Wade had 25, Mario Chalmers went BIG BOY BALLIN in the biggest man up moment of HIS career with 25, and Chris Bosh had 13 points and 9 rebounds for a Miami Heat team now on the brink of an NBA Championship.
I have no doubt that there is a lot of champagne in the state of Florida.
I have a feeling that they are going to need all of it in Miami on Thursday night.
I do not think the Heat players have any intention of packing their bags and returning to a raucous Oklahoma City crowd.
And the way that every player not named Russell Westbrook played for the Thunder last night, it’s as if they all would rather be there now.
They had no fight and in my opinion, have zero hope of returning the series to the great Oklahoma City fans.
The Miami Heat are going to be celebrating an NBA Championship in South Beach on Thursday night, and FAR into Friday morning.
NBA FINALS Game 1: OKC 105, Miami 94
Can’t fault LeBron James.
He played at a level pretty close to what he will have to continue to play at in order for the Miami Heat to have a chance to take this series.
Bron Bron had 30 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals, and proved what I have spent quite a bit of time telling anyone who wants to listen. That Kevin Durant CANNOT guard him. His numbers are NOT what should frustrate you if you are a Miami Heat fan. What should frustrate you is that LeBronj proved he could take Durant to the rack at will and didn’t continue to relentlessly do it until the Thunder made adjustments.
You can’t fault the Heat shooters, either. Not Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers, anyway. They had 17 points and 12 points respectively, and Shane Battier was the Heat’s biggest offensive threat in the 1st half. You even got a nice contributio from Haslem, who played solid enough defense and 11 rebounds. But Mike Miller? 2 points. James Jones? DNP. Norris Cole? DNP. Joel Anthony? Played 2 fuckin minutes.
So the 35 points scored by players NOT named LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh aren’t really that impressive once you dig a little deeper.
The only one of the alleged Big Three that played anywhere close to the elite level that Heat fans have come to expect from him, was LeBron.
Wade had 19 points, but it took him 19 shots to get them. The fact that the Miami Heat managed a measly 4 transition points, CERTAINLY didn’t make things easy for him, either.
Bosh managed only 10 points, and was never a significant part of the Heat offense. Erik Spoelstra is playing it far to close to the hip with him. He has a $100 million contract. If he can play, he needs to start, play more than 35 minutes, and should be expected to put up numbers at least close to what earned him his massively over priced contract.
The Miami Heat were out shot 56% to 42%, out rebounded 43 to 35, out assisted 22 to 20, lost the fast break points battle 24 to 4, and lost the points in the paint battle 56 to 40.
You understand what that means, right, Heat fans? You did NOTHING well enough to win this game.
On that same note, obviously you understand that I’m telling you that the Thunder did absolutely EVERYTHING well enough to win.
Kevin Durant showed basketball fans around the world the skills that have already won him 3 scoring titles by age 23, and let it be known to all just how close that MVP race with LeBron James was closer than you may have thought. He pumped in 36 points, on 12-20 from the field, and was every bit the go to player the Thunder need him to be in order to win the title.
Russell Westbrook, who I am often blasted for being too hard on, was everything the Thunder need him to be. Except of course for that whole taking more shots than Durant thing, which absolutely HAS to stop at some point. But I have no doubt that I will talk about that more later. Westbrook had 24 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds, and most importantly, only turned the ball over twice.
I would say that Thunder fans should be a little troubled that James Harden finished his 1st career Finals game with a measly 5 points, but I have watched enough Thunder games the past couple of seasons to know that when the Thunder truely need Harden to put up big offensive numbers, he WILL be there. Hell, even with Harden’s 5 points, the Thunder Big Three STILL outscored the Heat’s Big Three 65 to 59. No worries.
Ibaka, Collison, Sefolosha, Perkins, and Fisher ALL knew their roles and showed the world where it is they have the TRUE advantage over the Heat.
They have role players.
Not players not named Bron, Wade, or Bosh who occasionally have a solid scoring game like the Heat have, but ACTUAL role players. Guys who are NOT out there to fill up the stat sheet. Guys who are rebounding, playing D, blocking shots, diving for lose balls, and most importantly of all, getting back on defense.
If the above does NOT change, the Thunder will walk away with this series. Perhaps sooner than ANYBODY has predicted.
Why would the Heat even consider trading D-Wade? They are his team, not LeBrons.
You see, THIS CONCEPT is what I ALWAYS take issue with. There are 12 guys on that bench, and you need them ALL to win. The team doesn’t belong to any one guy.
But, I’ll play ball with you. It’s simple, really:
Bron is the defending MVP of the league. He is amongst the games most popular and talked about players. He’s younger than Wade. He NEVER gets hurt, where as Wade always seams to be playing with SOME kind of nagging injury. They are NOT going to trade Wade unless somebody flat out overwhelms them with an offer. MY point was that James was the only one who was completely SAFE. They are NOT going to trade the MVP of the league, PERIOD.
If anybody gets traded, it will be Bosh. He’s younger, he’s a big man in a league currently STARVED for solid big men, whereas damn near every team in the league has an all-star capable guard, and you will most definitely get more for him, than you would for Wade.
If the Heat go down to the Celtics, and I believe they will. Spoelstra and Bosh will BOTH be gone. THAT is my prediction.
There is also only one loss left in the Big Three as it currently stands…
LeBron is safe.
NOBODY is going to trade the MVP of the league.
Wade and Bosh are both up for grabs, in my opinion.
Bosh is definitely most likely to go.
The Heat KNOW they would piss LeBron off by trading D-Wade.
He is the reason Bron signed on in the 1st place.
Would Spo getting fired be more bold than them trading Wade in the offseason if they fail to win a chip?
That would be as bold of a move as I could possibly foresee the Heat franchise doing.
I think it is FAR more likely that they would trade Chris Bosh.
It’s an interesting possibility, because if you think about it, what does Bosh add to the team?
He doesn’t block shots, he gets less than 10 boards a game from the power forward position (which is inexcusable to me), and he has no post game to speak of.
Trading Bosh for a young big man who can really rebound and play defense would be the most logical scenario of a member of the Big Three being traded.
I can’t see the Heat moving Wade.
Doc Rivers said that Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce were the best at drawing fouls off of a pump fake…
Apparently he hasn’t been paying enough attention to Kobe Bryant the last 16 years….
Stay classy, Boston.
Dwyane Wade, BIG BOY style!
3 point play to give the Heat a 5 point lead with less than a minute remaining.
That SHOULD do it.
But I wouldn’t turn THIS game off, just yet…
Russell Westbrook should watch Dwyane Wade play…
PERFECT example of a team’s SECOND best player knowing his role on the team and doing whatever is necessary to help the team win.
If I’m Scott Brooks, I’m sitting Russ down in front of the TV right NOW.
BALLER OF THE NIGHT (Feb. 21)
Dwyane Wade had 30 points and 10 assists in a 120-108 Heat victory over the Kings.
Heat 106, Wizards 89 (Feb. 10)
Because I can’t help but post about the Miami Heat regardless of how sick I am of the never ending line of band waggoners who are tripping over the top of each other to get into a wagon that has far exceeded it’s capacity wait, allow me to recap this game.
True, Chris Paul and the Clippers and now Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks have stolen a few passengers, but those who have remained on the band wagon will almost certainly reap the benefits when the Heat are representing the East in the NBA Finals this Summer. Then of course, they will go on to tell all of their friends about how they are thrilled and have been Miami Heat fans since day one, when we all no better.
The MVP in waiting, LeBron James, had 18 points and 9 assists, Dwyane Wade lead all scorers with 26 points, and Chris Bosh had 24 as the Miami Heat Big Three 68 points in the Heat’s 20th victory of the season.
In somewhat related news, the Washington Wizards still suck.
It’s okay though, Wizards fans (if there are any), you aren’t the league’s worst team anymore. You have the fucking Charlotte Bobcats to thank for that.