5 things from Game 5 of the NBA Finals
And it’s over. The Miami Heat have captured their second title,
the first for LeBron James, and the offseason has officially
arrived. But first, a look back at five things we’re talking about
after Game 5 of the NBA Finals:
LEBRON CAN WIN: Simply put, LeBron James is now a champion. And
with a triple-double in the final game of the season, no less. He’s
the MVP, he’s the Finals MVP, he’s the best player on the best team
in the world. The season was his, by all possible measures. There
were nine votes cast for the MVP of the series. He got all nine.
The series was closer than it seemed, but there was no question who
the best player in the series was. It’s the 14th time a player has
won the regular-season and Finals MVP award in the same season.
WHAT NOW FOR MIAMI? A parade, then the draft, then some
decisions to make. Mike Miller is talking about retirement, though
some around him insist that it’s not plausible that Thursday was
his last NBA game. The roster will change, of course. And training
camp is about three months away. It’ll fly, but that’s a nice
problem to have when you know you have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade
and Chris Bosh are coming back to defend a championship.
WHAT NOW FOR OKC? A young team saw what it takes to win a
championship. And Dwyane Wade boldly predicted that the Heat will
see the Thunder again in another Finals. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas
said Thursday night that they’re the odds-on choices to get there
next year, but really, when doesn’t a title series immediately lead
to talk of a rematch? Kevin Durant will get better from this loss.
So will Russell Westbrook. So will James Harden. Scott Brooks
probably will, too. Be afraid, Western Conference.
HEAT CONTINUNITY: Dwyane Wade is a two-time world champion now,
as is Udonis Haslem, by the way. They’re the only two players left
from that club in Miami. But the core of the coaching staff
remains. Erik Spoelstra was an assistant then under Pat Riley; he’s
the sideline boss now. Ron Rothstein, Keith Askins and Bob McAdoo
remain assistants from that 2006 team. And Riley is still the team
president. Players are the key to any title. But in Miami, it seems
like few Heat employees ever actually want to leave. Don’t think
prospective free agents fail to notice that.
AND WHO WINS IN 2013? Too early for a Finals prediction for next
year? Oh, why not. Miami will have its share of challenges next
season. The offseason will be short, the demands will be many, and
there’s likely no way Wade, James and Bosh will grind their way
through so much of next year the way they did this one. But Derrick
Rose’s status is murky at best. Boston may change dramatically.
Indiana should be good again. Will Philadelphia take the next step?
Or the Knicks, even? And out West, will Kobe Bryant make one more
run? San Antonio is San Antonio. And the Thunder will be both
talented and driven. Maybe it’s too simple, but look for a Finals
rematch next year. It’ll go seven games. Winner is the team who’ll
be at home for Game 7. And with that, we declare this season