Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 NBA Champions: Miami Heat

Finally, the NBA's "King" was crowned last night. After seven seemingly long years, LeBron James gets his first NBA Championship. Just like any crowned King, he did this with much struggle and pain. He spent five years with his first team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He reached the NBA Finals once, only to be swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

A couple of years ago, he made the choice of his career that infuriated more than half of the fans of the game. He left a constant playoff contender Cavaliers, and went to team up with co-superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Branded as the new big three in the East, he found his Fellowship of the Ring.

Wade single-handedly captured the 2006 NBA Championship after beating the Dallas Mavericks, 4-2. He was 24 years old. This time, he decided that he step down from the leadership role and took in good friend LeBron and Chris with open arms.

The first year was a bit shaky. It showed that each of them were still feeling each other. Nobody wanted to step on each one's shoe, each one filling the role. LeBron decided to take a step back from his A-game, giving way to Wade's leadership. It worked, but not as long. They were beaten by the Mavericks in 2011.

This season, they got back on the groove and they did not disappoint. after a shortened 66-game season due to a lock-out, the Heat finished second with a win-loss record of 46-20. The road to the Finals seemed easier following a series of injuries during the first round of the Playoffs: Dwight Howard (back), Derrick Rose (ACL), Ray Allen (ankle) and a few more injuries from their first round opponents: Jeremy Lin (Meniscus) and Baron Davis (Knee) and Iman Shumpert (ACL). The NBA must have laid a red carpet on the Heat to easily cruise through the championship.

However, the road was not easy as it looked. During the second round of the Playoffs, they played a young tough team, the Indiana Pacers. They promised to be a "Dallas Mavericks" for the Heat by becoming a rebounding and defensive team. They gave the Heat the scare of their lives, and LeBron another risk of waiting another year to get a hold of the Ring.

After taking a 2-1 deficit, the Fellowship looked like it was about to falter. In the middle of Game 3, Wade had a heated discussion with Heat head coach, Fil-Am Erik Spoelstra. But after a few baths and some meditation, the seemingly cold Heat came back hotter than before. They won over the Pacers in 6 games.

The same scare happened in the East Finals. Upon entering the Playoffs, the Bostons Celtics looked like an old team that will easily be eliminated. But no, they defeated their first two opponents, the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers in 7 games. For each round that they stayed, they looked even stronger. Rajon Rondo showed that he is the next big Superstar for the Celtics. They did give the Heat a real hard time. Boston led the Heat 3-2 after five games, with game 6 to be played in Boston. The LeBron's Heat never faltered, won game 6 on the road, and eventually won the series in 7.

And then, the NBA Finals. What seemed like an easy road for the Heat was indeed a very long one. The younger, fresher Thunder finished off the 4-time Champions San Antonio Spurs in 6 games, giving them a longer practice and rest period. They had their own Big three, headed by the 23-year old MVP runner-up Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the most famous beard, 6th Man of the Year James Harden.

Game 1 was a neck-and-neck game, giving the NBA fans a good show. Both teams were relatively young, and both had exciting high flyers, and of course, floppers. Game 1 was taken by Oklahoma.

The Thunder seemed indestructible. Kevin Durant was a monster. However, lady luck was on the Heat's side this year. Games 2 to 4 were close contests, with late-game miscues. Russell Westbrook played magnificently, however, LeBron and the Heat showed that when the going gets tough, it takes maturity and presence of mind to capture the crown. Clutch-time baskets gave the Heat the wins, making the Thunder's first NBA Finals win their last. The Miami Heat wins in 5 games, giving the franchise its second championship, and LeBron and the rest (except Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem) their first ring. This year, the Fellowship of the Ring regained its momentum and strength, dominated, and won.

Congratulations to our Kababayan, Coach Erik Spoelstra for his first NBA Championship as Head Coach.

Miami Heat
2011-2012 NBA Champions

Dwyane Wade
LeBron James
Chris Bosh
Mario Chalmers
Shane Battier
Udonis Haslem
Mike Miller
Norris Cole
Joel Anthony
James Jones
Ronnie Turiaf
Juwan Howard
Terrel Harris
Dexter Pittman
Eddy Curry

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra

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