Twenty-three months after LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh combined their talents in South Beach, they are NBA champions. Unfortunately it comes at the expense of the young dynamic Oklahoma City Thunder team and their talented forward Kevin Durant.
On a night where Mike Miller hits 7 three-pointers and the Heat as a team connect on 14 three pointers, the inevitable finally arrived as the Heat won going away in Game 5, 121-106. The Heat became the 11th team in NBA history to win a title after losing in the NBA Finals the previous season and the seventh champion to sweep four straight after losing Game 1.
The Heat become the 31st team to go up 3-1 in a series and win the championship. After being up at the half, the Heat smelled blood in the 3rd quarter, and LeBron’s first triple-double of the season didn’t hurt. LeBron becomes the fifth player all-time to earn a triple-double in a series clinching game.
James averaged 30.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists this postseason. It was the second time he has averaged a 30/9/5 combination in a single postseason. He also did so in 2009. The only player to hit those plateaus even once for a postseason was Oscar Robertson for the 1963 Cincinnati Royals.
The Heat also tied an NBA Finals record with 14 3-pointers in the game, matching the mark previously set by the 1995 Orlando Magic and 1995 Houston Rockets, who each did it once in that series. The Heat were 14-for-26 from 3-point range in the game after combining to go 14-for-39 in Games 3 and 4.
Kevin Durant had 32 points and 11 boards, thus earning the “It Ain’t My Fault” award.
Bosh and Wade, the other members of the Big Three who sat alongside James as he promised titles at his Miami welcoming party, both had strong games. Bosh finished with 24 points and 7 boards, Wade had 20 points and 8 boards.
Enough with the numbers, the most important aspect is that a 3-time MVP has the piece of jewelry that silences a large number of critics. In his third attempt at a championship, LeBron played the way we all wanted, and knew he was capable of playing. Not settling for fall away jumpers, not constantly deferring to teammates, but instead taking the ball to the basket, and of course there is the NEW* post game.
But LeBron’s story is still in its infancy, at 26 he has another 10 years left in the league. We have always and will continue to *witness.