NBA Finals Recap
So, first things first, I just can’t fucking win. I pick the Heat to win the title at the beginning of the year, then when they get to the finals, I go against them, and naturally, I end up looking like an idiot. Fuck me.
Okay, now that that ugly situation is over, let’s talk about the actual series. After an encouraging win by the upstart Thunder in Game 1, the Heat swept the next four, gradually looking more and more powerful as the series went on. Game 2 was a close one, where the Heat benefited heavily from a dubious no-call on Lebron James that might have sent the game into overtime. As the series went on, the games were still close, but the Heat were beginning to look more and more like the better team, and in game 5, they just straight-up obliterated the Thunder.
The most notable performance in this series was that of James, who has finally convinced me, and I’m guessing many more of his harshest critics, to shut the fuck up. Look, I had as much fun ragging on this guy as anyone else did, but he was just brilliant. Lebron was always capable of using his ridiculous athletic gifts to his advantage, but this time, he finally was able to dominate in a high-pressure situation. His numbers in the last two games speak for themselves: 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 12 assists in game 4, and 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists in game 5. To put it quite simply, you don’t fuck with that shit.
Will Lebron still be one of the NBA’s biggest villains? Absolutely. Now, it’s worth noting that Lebron has never done anything truly irredeemable. His biggest crimes were believing his own hype a little too blatantly, and breaking Cleveland’s heart in brutal fashion. I can see why people want to hate him, because of that (and I’ve certainly lobbed some insults at him before), but considering the crimes that many other athletes commit, is it really fair to view him as such an ogre?
Of course, the biggest criticisms of Lebron – that he’s a choker and doesn’t have a ring – are no longer applicable. Now, with Lebron still just 27 years old, we find ourselves wondering just how many championships he is capable of winning. Can he win five more and tie Michael Jordan? Can he go even further than that? It’ll certainly be interesting to see how things play out with the NBA’s most polarizing player over the next decade.
In the meantime, Heat haters will just have to deal with them being the defending champions for the next year. To them, I’ll just say that it could have been worse; the Lakers could have won it. Think about that for a second. Kobe tying Jordan for rings, and every ESPN blowhard pontificating endlessly about why he’s better than MJ, while every other ESPN blowhard pontificates about how he’s not as good as MJ. Yeesh, we dodged a bullet there. Granted, we might be six or seven years from having to do that with Lebron, but that’s a bridge we can cross when we get there. For now, let’s just admit through gritted teeth Lebron is pretty damn amazing, and hope somebody knocks the Heat off their throne next year. I’m pulling for the Grizzlies.