Last night as the crowd cheered, and the red confetti was falling ESPN correspondent Stuart Scott asked Lebron James, "When the clock hit triple zeros, what was on your mind ?". He simply responded "It's about damn time." Indeed it was as the Miami Heat did what they were built to do, winning the 2012 NBA Finals. They did it in convincing fashion with a score of 121-106 over the young and talented Oklahoma City Thunder, capping the series 4-1. With this victory the wait of validation from 3 time NBA-MVP Lebron James is over, he is now a Finals champion and MVP. The Heat won the NBA title for the second time in franchise history.
Lebron James put up one of the greatest Finals we've ever seen becoming the 8th player in NBA history to have 3 MVPS, and a championship. Not saying it was the best with much respect to the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and other NBA greats who have put up great numbers in Finals history. However there is a reason he won his first NBA Finals MVP, to average 28.6 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists is a stat line that has greatness written all over it. And to top this season off, Lebron clinched this series with a triple double putting up 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. As you could see Lebron looked more than joyful to receive the Bill Russell NBA-Finals MVP trophy from the man himself. Still despite his legendary play, it was his team that backed him up and played some of the best basketball we've seen in a long time. Last night the Heat won because of total team effort, experience and intensity.
Dwyane Wade who is now a two time NBA Champion played great last night, putting up a stat line of 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The third member of the superstar trio Chris Bosh also played very well finishing with 24 points, and 7 rebounds. The role players for Miami stepped up bigger than King Kong last night. Hitting 3's with ease when needed, Mike Miller who hadn't made a 3-pointer the whole series made 7. He finished with 23 points, and 5 rebounds providing that needed spark from the bench. Shane Battier had 11 points while making three 3-pointers, and Mario Chalmers had 10 points while making two 3-pointers. The Heat had the 3 ball falling all game, and played a great all around game.
With such a tough loss for OKC, the main thing that held them back last night was bad shooting. OKC who usually finish above 50% from the field finished with 41.4%, and only 39.3% from beyond the arc. Kevin Durant did everything he could trying to keep his team's title hopes alive, finishing with 32 points, and 11 rebounds. The rest of his teammates specifically his big three members did not play as well. Russell Westbrook who had an amazing 43 point performance in game 4, finished with 19 points off of 4-20 shooting. James Harden did a bit better with 19 points off of 5-11 shooting. With a lack of fire power from the rest the team OKC could not keep up with the red hot scoring by Miami. Despite the heart breaking loss OKC should be proud of their season. In my opinion they are best team from the Western Conference and will be for years. Kevin Durant will be a top 5 player in the NBA for years to come.
As we look back at the 2012 NBA Season, many headlines sprung in such a short time. The lockout affected the length of our season, the loss in last years NBA Finals placed doubt above Miami, and an array of teams proved to be deep playoff ready. Moving forward we had the drama in Orlando with Dwight Howard, the "time vs age" question in regards to Kobe's Lakers, and then we had one of the tightest MVP races in NBA history between Lebron James and Kevin Durant. Every thing kicked into high gear come playoff time with the top seeded Bulls losing last year's MVP Derrick Rose, teams such as the 76ers and Pacers causing problems, and some of the most sensational individual performances we've seen in a while. At the end of it all, as the dust settled the Miami Heat came out as Champions.
Still there is more work for Miami. More titles to win, more success to experience. However the NBA is a tough league, and it won't be easy. Lebron James has finally ended talks of being ring less, and has cemented himself as one of the best players to ever play in NBA history. Looking forward to next year, there will be some tweaks in the roster to be made by Heat President Pat Riley and Head Coach Erick Spoelstra. Combined with the continued leadership of the Big Three we could be witness to a repeat. Until then they can celebrate, and ready themselves to be the team to beat in the 2013 NBA season.