LeBron Conquers Demons, Celtics
With the Miami Heat, LeBron James finally accomplished what he could not with the Cavaliers: beat Boston in a seven game series.The once-savior of the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James went turn-coat exiting the Rust Belt for South Beach last summer. Since his arrival and pairing with Superstar Dwyane Wade and (now exposed to be rather pedestrian) Chris Bosh, LeBron James has been under the microscope and expected to deliver a title to Miami. His performance throughout the season suggest and uneasy partnership with Wade, as the two often struggled to closeout games. Interesting to note that even during the playoffs, the worse lineup for the Heat (in plus-minus terms), was when the ‘Big Three’ were on the court together. On Wednesday, the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics to close out the series 4-1. Unlike last year’s meltdown with the Cavaliers, LeBron James led a furious comeback and helped Miami score 18 straight points(10 of which were his) to win the game 97-87 on their home court. Afterwards, it was clear that a weight had been lifted from LeBron. For all the tough talk he had this summer about winning multiple titles, LBJ knew that he would have to defeat Boston if he wanted to win anything.
The ‘Big Three’ of Miami beat the original ‘Big Three’ of Boston in a series where health and in-season trades contributed greatly to the outcome. Danny Ainge, GM of the Celtics, curiously traded staring center Kendrick Perkins and spark-plug guard Nate Robinson for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ainge, not wanting to see the current Celtics suffer from the same problem of age that his Celtics did in the late 1980s, made a bold move to get younger and more athletic. Unfortunately, injuries and age at the center position — along with Rondo’s wrist injury — were the ultimate undoing of the Celts. Would they have won with Kendrick Perkins? Hard to say. For sure, they would have challenged Dwyane Wade and LeBron Jamees more at the rim. But truth be told, this Celtics team had chances and didn’t close. Blame the Rondo wrist or a few off games from Ray Allen, but this team still had a chance.
LeBron James and company will wait the winner of the Chicago-Atlanta series, in what will prove to be a more athletic encounter. But having already defeated experience, you have to like their chances against youth. For LeBron to truly exercise his demons, he’ll need to win it all. Remember, he’s been to the NBA Finals before, only to get swept. But this year, there will be no LA Lakers.
Tagged with: Boston Celtics • Chris Bosh • Cleveland Cavaliers • Danny Ainge • Dwyane Wade • Jeff Green • kendrick perkins • LeBron • LeBron James • Miami Heat • Nate Robinson • Oklahoma City Thunder • Ray Allen
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