How ironic has this NBA Finals been?
How ironic is that everyone hated on Dirk Nowitzki in 2006, but cheered him on in 2011? How ironic is that Dwyane Wade was the hero in 2006, but the loser in 2011? How is that LeBron was loved in 2006, but hated on in 2011? How is that the Heat won 4-2 in 2006, but lost 4-2 in 2011?
Things have changed in these five years.
The Mavericks only have two players from the 2006 squad, while the Heat probably only have two as well with D-Wade and Udonis Haslem. However, both teams went in different directions.
Miami started off slow, but got things going that got them to the NBA Finals. For the Mavs? They played well in the regular season, but were frowned upon in the playoffs, always expected to lose. And here they are as champions.
For me, I only picked the Mavericks to win only one of the series in this year’s playoffs, and that was against the Thunder. I had them losing to Portland. Whoops. Then the Lakers. Ouch. But the Heat one hurt the most, for me.
I like the Heat. I like LeBron. As a 14-year-old who enjoys the game of basketball, you can’t help to consider this guy an idol. I don’t give a damn if he left the Cavaliers. As Ron Artest to put it, “it was just LeBron and a bunch of old ladies.” It just hurts to see LeBron lose, for the second straight time.
Just like 2007, where James brought Cleveland to the Finals. He was the Dirk Nowitzki for them, but he couldn’t pull through. And he did it again in 2011.
However, it isn’t all that bad for Miami. Listen, at the start, I did not expect them to really make the Finals. A lot of people voted the Boston Celtics as Eastern Conference champions. But Miami proved them wrong. The Heat got past the hump very early, so they are heading in the right path.
But seeing how James played against the Mavericks in the NBA Finals was just very disappointing. James averaged 27 points in the regular season, but then only 18 in the Finals; which is the biggest dropoff for any NBA player in history.
According to ESPN, the 40 minutes James was on the court, the Heat were minus-24 in the plus-minus ratio, 44.3 in the field goal percentage, and averaged 88.8 points per 48 minutes. The eight minutes he was off the court and sitting on the bench, Miami was plus-14, 63.6 percent, and 126 points per 48 minutes. It’s shocking.
Stats don’t lie there.
But why — WHY??!! — did James do so bad in this series? Why was he so inconsistent. Why was he scared to attack? So many times I saw James having the chance to score and attack the basket, but he just passed it away. Especially in crunch time. He didn’t want to take over. Why?
James was under too much pressure. In Semi and Conference Finals, he wasn’t. He was too determined. But the championship? He was scared. And I don’t know why. Just too too much pressure.
But James will never admit to his mistakes, and that’s what will really hurt. If he really wants to be in the status of Jordan, he needs to man-up to mistakes. He is already in the Karl Malone category, as the only players to win multiple MVP titles but lose in the Finals multiple times. He needs to get out of there. He needs to man-up. Or else.
Yes, yes, pretty childish of an Internet meme, but it reminds of James whenever he loses. James just can’t act like he played well in this series. It was so disappointing.
In one of my last posts, I gave the idea of James to stop acting like a point guard. But he did it again in Game Six, and that really hurt. I expected him to take control and help make this series a storybook ending. No, he didn’t. He didn’t want to take over. Too much pressure, as I said.
Instead, it was Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade who were doing the work. James did okay…at best. Bosh was pretty unstoppable. He played great in this game, in my opinion. But the defense hurt. Wade could have taken control, but maybe it could have been his hip.
But for LeBron, he had no excuses. He could have taken control. The Heat were making a comeback in the fourth, and James finally acted like the LeBron we’re used to: go unstoppable. Shawn Marion couldn’t guard him when LeBron posted up. And that was the James I wanted to see all series. Where was that?
But then, coming crunch time in the last five minutes, he shrunk.
In the postgame, James remained optimistic. He said he wasn’t going to hang his head low, and that is good to hear.
Everyone was happy, like the whole world, when James lost. Asked about this, James said, “All the people that were rooting me on to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had before, James said. They have the same personal problems they had to today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want with me and my family and be happy with that.”
Listen, I like the quote here. He took a jab at the haters. But you need to face it, too, LeBron. Listen, you’re my favorite player, but sometimes, you just gotta man-up. I don’t think he will, but someday he will need to learn. Or else.
James will win a title. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does next year. As James said it, the good Lord says it wasn’t his time. It will be. And once it will, I can’t wait to see that smiling face holding the Larry O’Brien trophy. Finally winning. Finally having the sweet taste of victory. And once that day comes, the hating will stop.
But right now, James is going to have a long summer.
And if he ever plays like he did in this series, it’s consequences.
And that is when he is truly….