Miami Heat and LeBron “LeBeast” James
Last night the stage was set for an epic game seven in the NBA finals. Watching the game it appeared early on that only one team decided to show up – that team being the Boston Celtics. Early in the game it seemed as if Dwayne Wade could not find his rhythm. A couple of back-to-back turnovers on some shady passes, where Wade may have been trying to force the ball, lead to the Celtics taking an early lead, one they took with them to the locker room at the half. Boston was up 53-46.
Was this the end for the Heat? Could LeBron muster up the heart he has been accused of not having by his naysayers, and take over as he did in game six?
In game six, many doubters were waiting to pluck at him like vultures, not necessarily for his play on the court, but rather their memories of his highly publicized and televised free agency choice of taking his talents to South Beach two years ago, where he proclaimed how many championships he was going to win. Because of that, it was all the more special to see Lebron answer critics by taking his team on his back, and put his BIG money where his mouth is. In game six he transformed into LeBeast, and sank the Celtics. He could not be stopped as he he took the game into his own hands, dropped 45 points in 45 minutes, and led his team to the elimination chambers of game seven. The beast within was unleashed. LeBron posted a playoff performance for the ages after the media had written him off as a man who could not step up and win the big game. For shame!
But could he find that same energy in game seven with his team down?
“Break out the peanut butter, I’ve got the Jam”, must have been what Dwayne Wade heard just before he set James up for a momentum-shifting alley-oop, that made Heat fans, hell, all fans, go frantic just before half-time in game seven. If you missed it, with around 40 seconds left in the half, LeBron made a steal in his own end, dished a pass forward to Wade on the fast break, who tossed the rock back for the mega-slam. It was one of those plays that can turn a game, and in this case a season, around . LeBron held the rim after the slam, in his own way letting Boston know they were in for a very difficult second half.
The Heat came out from the locker room with renewed energy and determination. It appeared Lebron’s transformation rubbed off on other Heat players, as Chris Bosh played a fantastic game, easily his best since coming back from injury. Bosh let loose and shot from all over, including some uncharacteristic choices from three-point land. Bosh ended up draining 19 points, and snatching 8 rebounds in just 31 minutes played. But most impressive is that fact that when Bosh was on the court, Miami was plus-17. Thats plus 17 in just 31 minutes. Clearly his return to the court and added minutes made a big impact.
Dwayne Wade found his groove in the second half as well after picking up his game in the second quarter. Wade started to drain some off-balance shots under pressure that were incredibly impressive. His partner in crime, LeBron, consistently drove the rim and drained key baskets as well. All of this led to the heat wrapping-up the series and giving themselves, and their fans, a second life.
The Heat made the comeback and are now advancing to the NBA championship for the second time in as many years, winning the Eastern Conference both years since LeBron brought his talents to south beach. These finals should be exciting, as Miami will take on a young and very talented Oklahoma City team, fuelled by Kevin Durant. In the regular season they split the battle, with each team winning one of the two games. We may very well be treated to another seven-round duel. The battle starts Tuesday night at 9 pm EST. One thing I am sure of is, whether you are at the bar with a bottle of Jack or sitting on your couch watching the game, Tuesday night you will definitely enjoy some good shots.
…and that is the Last Word.
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