LeBron James certainly detracted from his fan base with “The Decision”, but bandwagon fans by the boat-load will jump back on, as I see James, combining his talents with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, winning a championship in their first season together. Why?
I have been one of a few that have stated that LeBron James is the best player in basketball since May 2008, when we saw an incredible playoff game 7 performance where James scored 45 points, had 6 assists and 5 rebounds and almost single-handedly defeated the eventual NBA Champion Boston Celtics, and had it not been for PJ Brown: YES, PJ Brown, with 10 points and 6 rebounds, the Cleveland Cavaliers may have won. This is the same Boston Celtic team that embarrassed the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers in the finals later in the NBA Finals.
If LeBron was able to motivate average talent to win 66 games in the 2008-2009 NBA season, what will he do on a night-to-night basis on a team where he doesn’t have to be the best player every night? Dwayne Wade showed his ability to take over games in the 2006 Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, and, he may be the best player on the Miami Heat with two minutes or less in the game. This, combined with the underrated Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat (Mike Miller, Carlos Arroyo, Eddie House, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Juwan Howard, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Jamaal Magloire) will prove to be a tough team for anyone to defeat in the NBA.
The biggest obstacle standing in the way of the Miami Heat will be the Los Angeles Lakers. I don’t see the Boston Celtics doing it. Why? Miami can play at a speed far faster than the Celtics are capable of. The Orlando Magic aren’t there either. Dwight Howard doesn’t yet have the ability to take over a game on the offensive end, and this, combined with his poor free throw shooting, makes him a questionable option in the fourth quarter. The Chicago Bulls have been overlooked, and could be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference if Derrick Rose can take the next step. Carlos Boozer will play well alongside defensive-minded center Joakim Noah.
In the West, the Lakers, if healthy, will win their fourth straight Western Conference Championship. The San Antonio Spurs have aged too much, the Phoenix Suns have lost their best scorer, Amar’e Stoudemire, the Dallas Mavericks can’t get it done in a big situation, and the Oklahoma City Thunder don’t have the experience to defeat the Lakers.
So when the Lakers play the Heat in the NBA Finals, who will win? The Miami Heat. Why? Pau Gasol and Chris Bosh are a wash, the same with LeBron and Kobe, which leaves Wade. Who on the Lakers can guard Wade? Who will? Wade will explode in the finals as he did in 2006, and, combined with LeBron and Bosh, will lead the Miami Heat to their second championship in what will begin the South Beach Dynasty.