Friday, June 22, 2012

Lebron is now an NBA Champion

2012 NBA Finals MVP
Lebron James

Why do a lot of people hate Lebron James? Was it the transfer from Cleveland to Miami that people started calling him traitor? Kareem Abdul-Jabar also did that when he transfered from the Bucks to the Lakers and  in recent memory Shaquille O’Neal also did that but they never got the criticism and bad publicity that Lebron had. In his first trip to the finals in 2007 Lebron said he never really got the supporting cast that he needed to complement his game. Cleveland never surrounded Lebron with real quality players that made the Cavs miss the bus for the next three NBA finals in 2008,2009 and 2010.  Then came the time that he announced that he is transferring to the Heat to make his opportunities in winning an NBA title better.  Today, the promise is now realized and it just shows that his decision to leave Cleveland was correct as the Miami Heat closed out the 2012 NBA Finals with a masterful 121 – 106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant dunks the ball

In closing out the Thunder, the real Lebron James came out as he put up an amazing peformance once again as he scored 26  points, hauled down 11 rebounds and issued 13 assists together with 2 block shots and a steal in an all around performance that gave him the NBA finals Most Valuable Player trophy.  Although his all around performance was the talk of the town, Lebron’s supporting cast was more than impressive this time around as Chris Bosh scored 24 points  got 7 rebounds and 2 block shots,  Dwayne Wade had 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 block shots, Shane Battier was 3 for 7 from beyond the arc to score 11 points and the most important contributor off the bench was Mike Miller who scored 23 points on 7 of 8 shooting from beyond the arc.  Now that is what you call a supporting cast.

Lebron talks to Miller and Bosh

Kevin Durant was his usual self scoring 34 points,  hauling 11 rebounds but coming up with 7 turnovers.  Rusell Westbrook scored 19 points but was just 4 or 20 while James Harden came out from a slump to score 19 points.  Veteran Derek Fisher was 3 for 6 from beyond the three point line for 11 points but most of his points came from the time that the Heat were comfortably ahead.  Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins combined for 11 points which was not enough for the Thunder to come back in this game and series.
Westbrook disappeared after scoring 43 in game 4

The end for the Thunder came in the third quarter with 10:21 still on the clock and Serge Ibaka just cutting the Miami lead to 5 points 61 – 56 with an emphatic dunk shot. James missed a shot and Durant got the rebound and was poised to bring down the Heat lead to three points when he uncharacteristically turned the ball over.  In the return play Mario Chalmers sank a three pointer which was followed by another three pointer by Shane Battier to make the Heat go up by 11 with the score 67-56.  In the next few minutes the avalanche of points was so much for the Thunder to take as Chris Bosh scored 8 points, James 4 points and Wade two free throws. Unfortunately for the Thunder those points were not enough as seldom used and injured Mike Miller put up another three pointer to put the game beyond recall with a 25 point lead 88 – 63 as the Heat fans celebrated since the game result was moot and academic from thereon.

Chris Bosh saved his best for game 5

The Heat sank 14 of their 26 shots (53%) which tied the most number of three pointers in a finals which was done by the Houston Rockets against the Magic in 1995.  The triple double of Lebron in a close out game is the first since 2003 when Tim Duncan did the trick against the Nets. The Heat also became the third team to win the middle three games in the 2 – 3 – 2 finals format joining the Pistons in 2005 and the Heat of 2006.  This is also the first time that James, Bosh and Wade scored 20 points in the same game.

Game 5 was Miller time as 
Mike scored 23 points

Lebron can now receive lesser criticisms but only for the meantime while they are the champs and i guarantee it will all come back once the season starts once again in November. One thing for sure is that we are now in the James- Durant era in the NBA and who are the winners? The NBA Fans who hopes that this rivalry will go on for years.

James and Durant will be 
the cornerstone of the NBA in the years to come

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Heat is on...take 2 - 1 lead in NBA Finals

The Heat is on

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Derek Fisher scored on a four point play to give the visiting Thunder a 10 point lead with 4:33 left in the Third quarter.  Add to that the fact that the Thunder got their lead with Kevin Durant sitting on the bench and the second unit was able to settle in.  Unfortunately for the Thunder, the Heat came back with as the Thunder gave up eight free throws, a jumper by Wade, a floater and three pointer by Lebron James to take the lead and control in the game. The Heat eventually held on to a hard fought 91 – 85 win and take a 2 – 1 lead in the NBA finals best of 7 series. 

The Heat stopped Durant''s 4th quarter onslaught 

Unlike the first two games, the Heat and Thunder fought toe to toe with both teams getting remarkable runs with the Heat leading by 8 points but was quickly neutralized by the Thunder as the Oklahomans themselves led by as much as 10.  Unlike the first two games, the Heat completely stopped the rampaging scoring champ as Kevin Durant was limited to four fourth quarter points.

James on the move

The immaturity of the Thunder eventually showed in the fourth quarter as turnovers came from miscommunication that eventually cost them the game.  Durant on the other hand had eight possessions in the fourth quarter which resulted in either a blocked shot, a bad shot or a turnover.  The Heat defense locked down on Durant and the scoring champ was never the same.

Wade vs. Durant

Miami started the fourth quarter with four turnovers which allowed the Thunder to come back as they turned a 69 – 74 deficit to a 77 – 76 lead with Harden scoring 4 of the Thunder’s 8 points.  Then the Heat tightened up their defense and countered with two remarkable three point plays by Wade and James that was eventually enough cushion for the heat to win.

This series will go where these superstars
 will point their team to

The Thunder’s final heave came with Russel Westbrook cutting down the lead to one 85 – 86 with 1:30 left in the game. Unfortunately for the Thunder their immaturity came in as Tabo Sefalosha made a bad pass to the cutting Westbrook. Miami’s big three eventually sank 5 free throws to  ice the game.  With this much action, game 4 promises to be a better one.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Heat get back at Thunder ties series

James silences the thunderous thunder crowd

Lebron James scored on a bank shot and sank the insurance free throws in the last 90 seconds for the Miami Heat to steal one game in Oklahoma as the Heat beat the Thunder 100 – 96 to even the series 1 – all in the best of seven NBA finals.    Lebron James led the Heat with 32 points and this time he got ample support from his team mates as Dwayne Wade had 24 points, Shane Battier another 17 point performance and Chris Bosh 16 points and 15 rebounds as the Heat rebounded form their game 1 meltwdown. 

James and Perkins jockey for position

The Heat started the game like a house on fire as they raced to a 18 - 2 lead as James scored his fourth point on a hook shot with 4:51 to go to give the Heat their biggest lead.  Wade and Bosh also scored four points each while Shane Battier sank two three pointers for six points to give the Heat that lead. At the end of the half, the Heat silenced the crowd with a 55 -43 lead.   

OKC's big three

This time the Big Three of  Oklahoma came to play as sixth man of the year James Harden bounced back from his subpar game one performance as he scored ten of the 15 first quarter points of the Thunder. At the end of the second period Harden scored 17 points, two more than Durant and Westbrook combined as the hard starting Thunder found it hard to shoot in their hometown.  At the end of the third canto nothing much has changed as the Heat was still in command with a 78 - 67 lead and is waiting for another 4th quarter rally by the Thunder.

Bosh complemented James and Wade well

In the second half, Durant and Westbrook took matters in their own hands as the two combined for 35 points as the Thunder played catch up with the Heat.    Unfortunately for them, the Heat has learned their game one lesson as they stemmed the tide when Durant and company scored on a spurious exchange with Durant cutting the lead to two points on a steal by Westbrook and a three pointer by KD.  Durant, Westbrook and Harden combined for 80 points while James, Wade, Bosh and Battier got 89 of the Heat's 100. The final stance that OKC had was when Durant drove to the basket but missed his shot, Lebron scored the insurance basket in the return play.  

James scores

Now that the series is tied and both superstars have shown their stuff, the series proves to be the makings of another blockbuster NBA finish as the Thunder need to win one in Miami while the Heat is aching to finish the series at home. Let's see whose stars are brighter this time around.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oklahoma Thunder overcome the Heat 105-94

The fans are always the winners

He is not the scoring champion for nothing as the three time ppg king scored 17 fourth quarter points to lead the Oklahoma Thunder to a 105 – 94 win in game 1 of the 2012 National Basketball Association Finals and take a 1 – 0 lead against the Eastern Conference Champs, the Miami Heat.   Durant’s scoring came in at the right time as he rallied the slow starting Thunder team who were down by 13 points at one point in the first half as they shook away the opening game NBA finals jitters and took the fight off the Heat in the second half.

Durant and Haslem battle it out

At the start of the game, the Heat made some defensive adjustments right away as Miami star was on OKC point guard Rusell Westbrook and Shane Battier on Kevin Durant.  Add to the mix the overexcitement of the Thunder and the result was a 13 point deficit as the KD and RW tandem found it hard to score and defend. But as I mentioned, these two teams does not have the word quit in their vocabulary as the Thunder defense zeroed in on the other Heat scorers which jumpstarted their offense with plenty to spare after the game.

Westbrook and Wade wanting the W

Kevin Durant and Rusell Westbrook combined for 41 second half points which was more than the Heat’s 40 second half points as the Thunder’s suffocating defense made life hard for the Heat to score.  The Thunder defense in the first half was quite loose which the Heat took advantage but in the second half the Thunder defense zeroed in on the others as Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers who combined for 23 first half points was helf to only six in the second half. 

 Durantula on the attack

Kevin Durant’s fourth quarter exploits is one for the books.  Shooting six of ten from the field, 1 of 3 from the three point area and canning all his four free throws Durant was like a man possessed.  From the looks of it this finals open up great performances from the tandem of Durant and Westbrook as Lebron James and Dwayne Wade would most probably get back at their tormentors.  Look for the finals to be more exciting than this first game.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heat or Thunder choose your pick

Thunder vs. Heat who will prevail

The Miami Heat uncorked a paralyzing endgame run to beat the Boston Celtics in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and book their second straight National Basketball Association finals against the rising men of the West, the Oklahoma Thunder.  The Thunder have already secured the first finals seat by winning four straight and ousting the San Antonio Spurs 4 - 2.  This epic battle is quite one for the books as the Big Three of Miami made up of league MVP Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will go up against the big three of the West courtesy of three time scoring champ Kevin Durant, Rusell Westbrook and sixth man of the year James Harden. So who will take home the crown this year? Lets see.

Lebron has taken the lead for the Heat


Lebron James has taken over but his supporting cast has been lackluster. For the Heat to win, the whole team must put in better numbers since Wade and Bosh has been disappearing in most games.  The re-emergence of Bosh in game 7 showed that he is ready to push the big men of OKC out of the shaded area most specially Serge Ibaka.  On the other hand, the hot shooting of Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller and Shane Battier are key ingredients to spread the floor and give more space for James to do his stuff. Wade has to rediscover his shooting touch to be able to get the pressure off James. Bosh on the other hand must come out with his sweet shooting offense to complement James and Wade. Wade must be able to contain Russel Westbrook and more importantly make Westbrook bleed for points and keep in check while complimenting the team with his scoring.  Low scoring games will  favor the Heat. If this series goes the distance the Heat will definitely win it.

Call Kevin Durant Mr. 4th Quarter


Like a bad nightmare, this team has risen from the dead more times than the zombies in the MTV of Thriller. The OKC Thunder has made a living on last minute rallies and they have ousted the last three Western Conference Champions to make their first finals berth.  The Thunder rely on the trio of Kevin Durant, Rusell Westbrook and James Harden on offense while Sergei Ibaka anchors their defense.  As long as the final buzzer has not sounded and the series is not yet over, don't them off as evidenced by their Game 2 win in  LA and their series comeback against the Spurs. Resiliency is what these young lightning bolts are made of and for as long as there is still some minutes left on the clock, their isolation plays and pick and rolls will do damage.
MVP or Scoring Champ?

What ever happens this match up will definitely be good for basketball since neither team will want to back down and the word surrender is not in both team's list of things to do.  Both teams has been down in their respective series and have shown that they can win on the road. Lets see who will come out better.