LeBron James and the Miami Heat lead the NBA Finals 2-1 over Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Through those three games James is averaging 30 points per game, 10 rebounds, four assists and almost two steals per game on 46% shooting. James has been great defensively and shut down Durant in the fourth quarter of game three. The demons that haunted James in last year’s finals against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks seem to have been exercised. James persistence to get to the basket has also put Durant in foul trouble the past two games and Dwyane Wade seems to have found his stride again. However, despite James’ performance in clutch situations throughout the 2012 NBA playoffs, the haters continue to hate. This begs the question; will the LeBron haters continue their attack on the King if he finally wins a championship this season?
The LeBron haters have even found flaws in his performance throughout the first three games of these finals series. The loudest argument came after game two when he came in contact with Durant on his last second shot attempt. The LeBron haters blamed the referees for the Thunder loss instead of the Thunder’s seven missed free throws and bad interior defense. In the mind of a LeBron hater, when the Thunder won game one it was because of the stellar play. However, when the Heat won games two and three it because of the preferential treatment they received from the officials.
But the LeBron hate goes way beyond this finals series. For some reason adults have a hard time understanding why someone would leave Cleveland for Miami. The geographical factors are reason alone. James played his heart out for the Cleveland Cavaliers every night for seven seasons and even took them to the NBA finals while leading a team full of Tito Jacksons. The large mistake James made during his move to South Beach was having an hour-long ESPN special to make the announcement. Even though the event’s proceeds went to charity, it was an arrogant, self centered and self-serving move that disappointed NBA fans around the world. However, I have always wondered if New Yorkers would feel different about the special if James would have chosen to be a Knick, or if Cleveland fans would have felt different if he had announced he was staying with the Cavs.
It seems as if LeBron Haters might be as selfish as they accuse James of being. Unlike a lot of our favorite athletes and celebrities, James has kept his name of the tabloids and off of TMZ. James has been charitable, a seemingly model family man and has never thrown his teammates under the bus (I’m looking at you Kobe & Shaq). I could even understand LeBron hate if he was a ball hog or engaged in unsportsmanlike conduct, but neither has ever occurred. The most laughable product of LeBron hate is the way haters have painted the James vs. Durant battle as a battle between good and evil. Instead of what is really is, the two best players in the world fighting for the biggest prize in basketball.
Real NBA fans acknowledge the fact that this is a series featuring a great veteran NBA warrior who has suffered numerous playoff failures against an up and coming team with a great core on the biggest stage for the first time. My money is on the vet, but I am sure the LeBron Haters will have an excuse when he lifts the Larry O’Brien trophy (66 game season, refs, etc.).
Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert are sidelined. Jeremy Lin isn’t back yet.
The New York Knicks are short-handed, and Carmelo Anthony says he doesn’t know where the offense is going to come from in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Miami Heat.
“Nobody never said it was going to be easy,” Anthony says.
And if the Knicks are hoping to get an advantage from playing at home, well, they can probably forget that. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade thrive at Madison Square Garden and will be extra fired up to try and move the Heat within one victory of the second round.
Stoudemire is out for Game 3 after cutting his left hand while punching the case around a fire extinguisher following Miami’s Game 2 victory Monday. He hopes to return in Game 4.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat is becoming an author.
William Morrow announced plans Wednesday to publish “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball,” to be released in September. The book talks in part about Wade’s struggles growing up in Chicago and how he’s incorporating some of the lessons he learned into raising his own family.
Wade tells The Associated Press that it was “therapeutic” to open up about certain elements of his life.
Wade was awarded sole custody of his two sons in March 2011 after a long court battle with his ex-wife, who remains in the boys’ lives. The 2006 NBA finals MVP and eight-time All-Star says he hopes the book shows his fans a side of him they haven’t already seen.
Morrow is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James had every facet of his game on display last night against the Portland Trailblazers. James dominated on offense with 38 points 6 assists and 0 turnovers. James also shined on defense with 10 rebounds, 3 steals and one spectacular chase down block on Trailblazers guard Raymond Felton.
James seems to be the front-runner for MVP this season and has his team in first place on the Eastern Conference. However, James is not showing us anything new. The real test for James and the Heat will come during the playoffs and if James implodes in crunch time as he is known to do, these highlights will be forgotten real fast.
This season’s version of the NBA playoffs have already featured the elimination of the western conference’s top seeded San Antonio Spurs, a 46 point game from the Orlando Magic’s All-Start center Dwight Howard and a 40-foot three-point bank shot from the Atlanta Hawks sixth man scoring machine Jamal Crawford that helped eliminate Howard’s Magic. The Boston Celtics swept the injury depleted New York Knicks while Kevin Durant lead the Oklahoma City Thunder over the New York Knicks, I mean Denver Nuggets. The championship contending Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and defending champion Los Angeles Lakers also advanced to the second round.
At the beginning of the season I predicted the south beach marriage of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh would lead the Miami Heat to a championship this season. That prediction was looking pretty bad when the Heat started the season 9-8 and lost their first three match-ups against the defending eastern conference champions, the Boston Celtics. However, the Heat won their last regular season game against Celtics pretty convincingly and now lead the squad from Bean town 2-0 in their eastern semifinal best of 7 series.
The Heat have looked super human and the Celtics have looked their age. While Miami moves up, down and over the court at will, the Celtics have looked…..old. Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are all fighting injuries while Rajon Rondo has looked disinterested on defense the past two games.
The Heat will capture this series in 5 games and will defeat the Chicago Bulls in the eastern conference finals. As long as Carlos Boozer continues to play poorly, the Bulls will have no chance to reach the NBA finals.
Karma was on the side of the Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers as they ended the Miami Heat’s 13 game road winning streak last night.
Mike D’Antoni saw the way LeBron James tore apart the Cavaliers when faced with a hostile crowd in Cleveland. The fans at Madison Square Garden probably won’t let that stop them from telling James how they feel about the star bypassing the Knicks for the Miami Heat.
The Heat are coming to New York on Friday, another huge game for the Knicks and their chance to show they have recovered just fine from a painful free agency snub.
They went after James and Dwyane Wade, who wanted to play together, but not in New York. They also talked to Chris Bosh.
But the Knicks gained the best power forward available when they landed Amare Stoudemire. He has a franchise-record streak of nine straight 30-point games heading into the game against the Heat.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Last night, Miami Heat guard/forward LeBron James returned to Cleveland to face his former team the Cavaliers. James and the Heat left Cleveland with a 118-90 victory. James led the Heat with 38 points.
Cavaliers fans greeted James with thousands of boos and signs expressing their disdain for their former homegrown hero. However, many Cavs players greeted James with handshakes and hugs before and even during the game. The fans in Cleveland came harder than the Cavaliers did.
James got his rhythm going in the second quarter and began chopping it up with some of his former teammates as the Heat extended their lead. It seemed as if the Cavs were still in awe of the two time defending MVP.
In the third quarter, James scored 24 points and the Heat went up by 30 points. James essentially closed out the game by the end of the third quarter. At this point in the game the Cavs looked defeated and tired. They started star gazing as James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ran up and down floor scoring at will.
James was able to sit out the fourth quarter and had a drink thrown at him (that missed) while he sat on the bench. James thrived in this environment. The support offered by his coach and teammates leading up to the game helped James a great deal and for the first time this season, LeBron James looked like King James.
However, the Cavs are under .500, and cannot match the talent of the Heat. So was this a big win for the Heat? The bottom line is that is was a WIN. After losing to the Pacers, Grizzlies and Mavericks recently, any win is a big win. Hopefully the Heat will recognize that they have to play faster, and use their athleticism to overpower their opponents.