The 2012 NBA Finals promises to spark a handful of dramatic headlines. It’s a shame that before discussing basketball, there is a desire to ask questions about the state of the Miami Heat, and what it would mean to lose out on a second consecutive NBA Championship.
When LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces in Miami, they joined forces for one reason. To win championships. It would only make sense that such talent focused on a single goal would easily be able to achieve it. After all, that works in the Olympics, doesn’t it? Right. Not necessarily.
There are far too many variables to take into account. Any such conclusion based on assembled talent is presumptuous at best. Believing that such a concoction would result in a winning formula…silly. Not all parts will fit together. And that is precisely the continued issue in Miami. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade don’t really fit well together.
Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals finally proved to be a glimpse of the mettle possessed by Miami. It had not been seen until then. It certainly wasn’t seen in the NBA Finals of 2011–though supremely talented, they fell early to the Dallas Mavericks. And now they find themselves the underdogs in 2012.
From top to bottom, the Oklahoma City Thunder are the better basketball team. It’s easily argued that the big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russel Westbrook and James Harden are more of a force than James, Wade and Bosh. Especially when considering the injury sustained and still affecting Bosh. The Thunder play in a far more harmonious fashion, buy into what they’re coach is saying and check their egos at the locker room door.
If LeBron plays the way he did in Game 7 of the ECF, the Heat have a chance. That will leave Wade and Bosh to fill the gaps, and take what they can. However, that has never been LeBron’s M.O. and there’s no reason to believe that it will become a consistent, game-in, game-out playing style.
The NBA title is staying with the Western Conference. Kevin Durant will walk away with MVP honors. I do believe the series may have potential to go 7 games, but if OKC holds home court, and steals one in Miami, it’ll only last 5.
Next up for Miami? A new head coach.