Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddd STILL NBA Champions of the Woooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrlddddddddd. Your Miami Heat are once again on top of the basketball world, beating San Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals 95-88. LeBron James takes home his second straight Finals MVP award, capping off the series with a legendary 37-point, 12-rebound performance. Dwyane Wade, battling a knee injury seemingly the entire season, finished the year strong with 23 points and ten rebounds. Shane Battier was your "other guy of the night" on this day, rising up in the biggest game of the year to hit six threes. Oasis of threes a-plenty.
The Heat's motto for the Finals was "We Fight," and fight for seven games they did. You won't find a better series, and you have to give so much credit to the San Antonio Spurs for bringing the champion out of the Miami Heat. The back-and-forth between these two teams wasn't just from game to game, it was possession to possession. If you blinked, you were bound to miss a game-changing three. If you sat on the remote and changed the channel, the team down ten would be up four by the time you got back. It was like nothing I have ever seen in my entire life. At one point when it seemed the Heat should be up ten, the Spurs were suddenly leading. It was as if their shots counted for six points and Miami's counted for one. The Spurs refused to go away all night. You don't just brush aside a four-time champion, and it took everything the Miami Heat had to dispose of this Spurs team, which says as much about the Heat's will to win as it does the Spurs.
Clutch. Up just two with the game on the line, LeBron stepped up and drained a midrange jumper that pushed the lead to four and pushed my fist through the air. The rap on Mr. James used to be he shrunk in the moment. Not anymore. It was the LeBron James takeover all night long, a game that included, strangely, ten three-point attempts, five of which he made.
"I work on my game a lot, throughout the offseason," James told reporters after the win. "I put a lot of work into it, and to be able to come out here and [have] the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I'm at a loss for words." Yeah, so are we, LeBron. From the day LeBron came to town, it has been the greatest ride in Miami sports history. We can only hope this is the beginning. For two straight years, LeBron has proven the naysayers wrong, winning two NBA championships, two NBA MVP awards, and an Olympic gold medal. The Miami Heat is a first-class organization, and LeBron James continues to prove he is a first-class player, on and off the hardwood.
In the words of 790 the Ticket's Jonathan Zaslow: "Don't you EVER front on your boy!" Who knows what's going on in Dwyane Wade's knee. I'd venture to say he doesn't even know the full extent of the damage, but it didn't matter, he brought out the best Thursday night. With a vintage jumper and classic Wade defense, your boy won his third championship. THREE! While that teammate guy named LeBron is pretty awesome, Dwyane Wade will always have your heart. You never forget your first love. People said he messes up spacing, and they are right -- the spacing between those people's legs is what he messes up. Do not EVER front on your boy.
They delivered. One championship is one thing; back-to-back is a completely different thing. Add the 2010 Finals appearance to that resumé and it's now crystal clear the Big Three will forever go down as a success, no matter what happens from here on out. They try to break the team up after every loss. They doubt their togetherness. They constantly say that they are the most talented but that the opponents have the "better TEAM." You can't stop the hustler; you can't dull this shine. Miami should be proud to have a team of this nature representing it.
There are no more games to look forward to for months, and that makes me sad. This has been one hell of a run, and I can't wait to see it pick up for the quest for the three-peat next season.
Congratulations, Miami. You're once again home to the NBA Champions.
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