NBA Finals : The Stage Is Set

Posted: May 29, 2011 by mceagle611 in Sports
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After all the turmoil involved in what has been one of the most meaningful NBA Seasons in years, it has come down to this. Four more wins needed for either LeBron James or Dirk Nowitzki to capture their first NBA Championship. Both players are sure-fire Hall of Famers but neither the greatest European player ever to play the game, nor the King – who will go down as one of the top-5 players of all-time – has a ring. This only adds to the number of stories this week involving the dramatic stage set for these NBA Finals.

From the second that LeBron Ramone James said the now famous seven words “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” in front of the whole world in his charity focused The Decision, he and his new teammates – Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade – knew the idea of the “Big Three” would be one that most NBA Fans would not like. The challenges they faced throughout the season provided the sports media an excellent chance to attack the Heat and exploit their flaws.

It was as easy as 1-2-3 at first because the three could not find out a way to blend their skill-sets together while on the court. It was at the beginning of their journey that the two best friends, Wade and James, were scoring more while on the court alone than together. Then, on December 2, everything changed as the Heat gave the King’s ex-sweetheart, the Cleveland Cavaliers, a heart-breaking loss that was the turning point in their season. As LeBron delivered his silent assassin-like message to his haters in Cleveland, he established that he was ready to move on. The Heat went on to win the next 21 out of 22 which put a positive spin on their game. Later their were the controversies dealing with Bosh not getting the ball enough, LeBron bumping Spolestra on the shoulder purposely, the Wade/LeBron duo being unable to hit shots in the Clutch, and then the fading manner that the Heat had towards the end of the season.

Then…it happened. Everything came together and in the past 3 series the Miami Heat have proved that despite the odds, the three superstars could band together in an experiment to see if many elite games in the NBA could come together and win multiple NBA Championships. Still yet to prove just that, the Heat feel a sense of accomplishment to accompany what has been an exciting season to watch. I tend to wonder if the tide is changing now that LeBron is hitting these clutch shots late in games if he can now – with this championship – be put in the same realm in comparison to Michael Jordan…only time will tell?

On the other side of the ball, you have one of the more unlikely stories; that of Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki, and the Dallas Mavericks. The first thing that should jump off the page to anyone is the fact that they were a three-seed EXPECTED to receive another early exit in the form of an upset at the hand of the Trail Blazers of Portland. After they handled them in six, and when the stage and drama only escalated, their game only got better. A quite unexpected sweep delivered to the reigning champion Lakers, and a 5-game wrap up to the Western Conference Finals, the Mavericks and Dirk are playing their best ball.

Dirk, who keeps hitting tough shot after tough shot, keeps making his case to be – as alluded to earlier – the greatest European player to play in the NBA. The big names that have decided to go join him in Dallas – Kidd and Chandler to name a few – and his supporting cast are all starting to fall into place. The team has the perfect veteran, pass-savvy point guard in Jason Kidd, shooters who have proven themselves to have dead accuracy in Terry and Stojakovic, and the three prime-time rebounders in Marion, Haywood, and Chandler.

To close, as the season came to a close, all you would hear about is how great Derrick Rose was. Nothing much was said about the mid-paced ending to the season of the Heat and Mavericks, nor LeBron or Dirk. Although, now that the Finals are upon us, many legacies are in question. LeBron is now being talked about to be in the same realm as MJ – at least according to Scottie Pippen’s controversial comments – and Dirk is being said to be the unsaid MVP, but the bottom line remains. I heard no hype surrounding Derrick Rose the following morning after game 4 after LeBron completely D’ed him up two possessions in a row when Rose had a chance to win the game and send it back to Chicago all tied at 2-2.

  1. Luke Arlotto says:

    i like how you point out the fact that “the decision” was for charity

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