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View Full Version : Congrats, LeBron and Heat, Champions '12



Soflasnapper
06-22-2012, 03:07 PM
I admit to questioning whether they could beat the sensational youngsters out of OKC.

I certainly didn't think they could reel off 4 in a row to end it in 5. What I thought would be far closer turned into a route, and an exercise in domination.

In the end, it was enough from the supporting cast, as much maligned as they were. Some of the teamwork was eye-popping, and each game, somebody of 'the others' stepped up to provide the additional scoring necessary. And the team defense played by the very small Heat team was always there.

Had Bosh been unavailable, the whole picture would have changed, and it might have been 4-1 or 4-2 the other way. But with him in the mix and playing effectively, that younger explosive team was up against a fearsome defense, and also forced to expend tremendous energy in trying to defend. With OKC's jump shooting tendencies, tired legs lead to poor field goal shooting, and even took down their free throw shooting at times.

And apparently, had Mike Miller been at all healthy, the Heat would have cruised easily. LeBron put up numbers not seen in the playoffs since guys named Wilt, Elgin Baylor, MJ (either one), etc. In other words, top 10 players of all time. Ironically, in one of the stat slams on LeBron that no other 3-time MVP was lacking a ring, some of them GOT that ring in the same year as that 3rd MVP. Just like LBJ.

The media problem we see in politics was on display in the sports media, with jackasses and ill-informed commentators galore. Including such gems as a 4-0 panel prediction that the Thunder would win game 4 last Tuesday. That looked like a winning prediction when the Thunder went out to a 17 point lead in the 1st quarter, 33-16. But if you blinked your eyes, it was tied at 35-35. No OKC edge on explosiveness on offense, and a big edge for Miami on defense meant only slight bumps on an easy road to victory.

Truly remarkable. And only 1 title off the pace promised on the way to 7 rings. Which to be clear I do not credence. But barring health issues next year, I'll go out on a limb to predict a back-to-back title next year.

eg8r
06-25-2012, 07:39 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">LeBron put up numbers not seen in the playoffs since guys named Wilt, Elgin Baylor, MJ (either one), etc.</div></div>Without this, the rest of your post is simply untrue. Meaning, without LeBron it did not matter what Mike Miller may have done it would not have been enough. Yes Bosh makes a difference but not like LeBron when he is on his game. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

I wish I would have been able to see more of the games. Finally a Finals I could enjoy (one that did not include Magic /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif ) and I was in Europe the whole time. Oh well, if it makes me feel better at least I did not have to watch LeBron play like the superstar he should have been in his past couple Finals appearances.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
06-25-2012, 12:05 PM
You are correct.

Neither Battier nor Miller can shoot those threes on the move, making their own shot opportunities. Although they can score off of screens and catch and shoot situations. But they are standstill set shot shooters (ok, not set shots, but almost like that).

And of course, that they were so wide open as to make so high a percentage (when they did) was because OKC was crowding the paint to try to slow up LBJ and Wade, and still needing to focus on Bosh.

This was the original theory of the team's offense: the wing superstar scorers getting into the paint, or drawing double teams enough, to free up open looks for several excellent 3-point shooters (Battier, James Jones, Miller, Chalmers).

Because all those guys except Chalmers had among their worst 3-pt shooting seasons (Miller injured at all times), we never got to see the team with its optimum offense, until the playoffs (and even then, James Jones was a dnp/coach's decision most games).

We got a tantalizing look at the team that was supposed to be, briefly. Miller may retire, and if not, his back surgery could easily take him out the entire next season.

sack316
06-26-2012, 07:15 AM
I'll admit I was one of the people that was dead wrong on this one.

I really didn't think the role players would step up the way they did. I did not believe that the whole team dynamic was there for Miami, but they certainly proved me wrong on that one.

Lebron took his "A" game to an A+ game. 6 players scored in double figures... 4 were 20+.

Game 7 really looked like men against boys. That was the Heat that everyone once thought may even shatter Chicago's wins record at some point.

Looks like "it" finally clicked, and they will be tough to dethrone. They made a believer out of me... only question now is how many will they get?

Sack

Soflasnapper
06-26-2012, 08:33 AM
Truth be told, I think even the Heat fan base had major qualms about this team, just like last year (although they were far more stout this year).

LeBron went down to Houston in the off season to work on low post moves with Hakeem, and with a low post game off the block, or nifty moves once he catches it in the paint, and his great passing ability should the double/triple come, he's about 50% more effective.

That one game v. OKC where they scored on layup after dunk after layup with movement off the ball and hard cutting backdoor, they looked like they had the teamwork of the old '60s Celtics or the mid-'70s Walton-led Blazers. The complete opposite of the problematic ball sticking with Wade or LBJ and a one-on-one 'hero ball' move late in the shot clock. They sliced the interior defense of OKC to ribbons that first half.

The main thing they've supposedly figured out is to play Bosh at center. Whether that's really a long term solution is an interesting question. But it worked pretty well for Boston with Garnett moving from the 4 to the 5 in the playoffs. Garnett seemed at least 5 years younger in terms of his numbers, going from slow, old and tired to being very rejuvenated. Bosh is not the old guy that Garnett is (in basketball age), and he can help clear the paint by going out to the high post or the wing to draw out the other team's bigs.

sack316
06-26-2012, 01:59 PM
True to all of that.

I mean it is really ridiculous at how many of those guys have to be accounted for. Especially on a night such as game 7 with Miller draining 3's like it's nothing. How do you defend that? Double/triple on James, fine Bosh can create down low if James is hemmed in. Get Bosh and James taken care of somehow, good ol' Wade can create so much off the dribble or passing. If by some miracle a team finds a way to contain all of that... then you got Miller looking more like another Miller in playoffs (of the Reggie variety) and I'd just be banging my head against the wall as an opposing team.

It really looked like they had that "A-ha" moment of realizing what they could accomplish together as opposed to individual superstars. Very much like Boston, who came together with that mindset and sole purpose a few years ago... only this team has quite a few more years left in the tank than Boston had.

Could you imagine if they got a true powerhouse center? And maybe somehow yanked a Rondo or someone away from somewhere else?

Sack

eg8r
06-26-2012, 05:59 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I mean it is really ridiculous at how many of those guys have to be accounted for. Especially on a night such as game 7 with Miller draining 3's like it's nothing. How do you defend that? Double/triple on James, fine Bosh can create down low if James is hemmed in. Get Bosh and James taken care of somehow, good ol' Wade can create so much off the dribble or passing. If by some miracle a team finds a way to contain all of that... then you got Miller looking more like another Miller in playoffs (of the Reggie variety) and I'd just be banging my head against the wall as an opposing team.</div></div>I agree with all that both of you are saying, but I don't think any of it happens without James. He was a beast and without what he was providing out there none of this other stuff happens. What is fantastic is that they were able to get everyone to do their jobs at the right time.

A big man in the center would help tremendously but I am not sure how much more Rondo would add? Seriously, how many more people do you want to put on that team that is going to require the ball in his hands 75% of the time. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

eg8r &lt;~~~shaking his head thinking about how great James is on the court and how equally poor he is with PR. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Soflasnapper
06-26-2012, 06:20 PM
Yeah, a true low post threat center is what I thought they needed all along. Not even a great one, just an average one.

Instead, they had a rotating 4-head center staff, and none of them were exactly low post scoring threats. And I think almost NONE of them took the court in the finals??!!! Although Turiak was injured, I heard later, Joel Anthony was not, and he provided a presence on the defense side, and helped the offense by setting the best screens on the team. I though he'd play some.

But they've settled into using all swing guys, making for a very quick and defensively aggressive, but very short team. Maybe this can work, maybe not, over time.

I remember back when Golden State had Rick Berry and a bunch of shorter guys, facing the Bullets, who had the best record in the league, and two of the top 5 or 10 rebounders in Wes Unseld and The Big E Elvin Hayes. In a major upset, the shorter guys gang-rebounded, won the boards, and iirc, swept out the Bullets 4-0.

Soflasnapper
06-26-2012, 06:26 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I mean it is really ridiculous at how many of those guys have to be accounted for. Especially on a night such as game 7 with Miller draining 3's like it's nothing. How do you defend that? Double/triple on James, fine Bosh can create down low if James is hemmed in. Get Bosh and James taken care of somehow, good ol' Wade can create so much off the dribble or passing. If by some miracle a team finds a way to contain all of that... then you got Miller looking more like another Miller in playoffs (of the Reggie variety) and I'd just be banging my head against the wall as an opposing team.</div></div>I agree with all that both of you are saying, but I don't think any of it happens without James. He was a beast and without what he was providing out there none of this other stuff happens. What is fantastic is that they were able to get everyone to do their jobs at the right time.

A big man in the center would help tremendously but I am not sure how much more Rondo would add? Seriously, how many more people do you want to put on that team that is going to require the ball in his hands 75% of the time. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

eg8r &lt;~~~shaking his head thinking about how great James is on the court and how equally poor he is with PR. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif </div></div>

Yep. Same with a big guy in the middle, if he wanted touches and points. Riley ALWAYS had the big man in the middle, and fed him as the major part of the offense. Interesting to see this small lineup gambit.

They're talking about maybe Steve Nash, but he's a defensive liability now (if he ever wasn't), and as great a passer/assist guy as he is, it still takes the ball out of the more in their primes Wade and James, who create off the dribble.

It will be interesting seeing who remains on the team (James Jones and Miller may very well retire; Dexter Pitman may be inadequate, Curry has been a waste so far and after a 100 pound loss or so is still too heavy and likely too slow for the up-tempo pace; Terrel Harris has shown flashes like Norris Cole and they're both young, etc.)

And, of course, who they pick up. Last Heat championship, they picked up veterans like Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, Alonzo Mourning, etc., and pretty much they were all gone the next year.

sack316
06-27-2012, 06:52 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I agree with all that both of you are saying, but I don't think any of it happens without James. He was a beast and without what he was providing out there none of this other stuff happens. What is fantastic is that they were able to get everyone to do their jobs at the right time. </div></div>

Oh I agree James is the catalyst for it all. He took the lion's share of blame when they come up short, he also deserves the lion's share of credit too. I suppose I just don't mention him as much because it is expected of him. Anything short of ring after ring is failure (both himself and the media put that crown of thorns on his head).

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body">A big man in the center would help tremendously but I am not sure how much more Rondo would add? Seriously, how many more people do you want to put on that team that is going to require the ball in his hands 75% of the time. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif</div></div>

I don't know, a true PG that can set up plays and dish effectively while the big guns make moves without the ball could add another dimension. JMHO. Often it seems they are just playing streetball, and their speed, talent and strength makes the free-styling work. I could be wrong and there could be more method than madness that I just don't recognize (I'm not nearly as much of a b-ball student as I am for baseball and football).

But then again, that's probably not a fair criticism for me to throw on them as it rings true for nearly every team in today's NBA. It's all pick-n-roll and/or create for yourself off the dribble. If ya get stopped dish it back out and start over until the shot clock is about to expire then just heave it up there. I miss Phil Jackson sometimes lol

Sack

Soflasnapper
06-27-2012, 12:17 PM
If there could be a point guard FASTER than LBJ to lead the break, and a willing passer, AND a finisher himself at the rim, it would be devastating. Who and where is such a guy, however?

It would also have to be someone who didn't care about shots and points for himself. Very few in the league fit that category.

It would also have to be someone with no interest in or right to a max salary. No one fits that description, except Norris Cole, who IS damn fast, has a rookie level contract, and is actually on the Heat already.

Heat probably stand pat in the backcourt with Chalmers and Cole (Terrel Harris as backup), and look for a better offensively skilled (but defensively minded) big man fill-in piece.

eg8r
06-27-2012, 05:12 PM
It is hard to think of the Heat getting better than they already are when everyone is playing their "part". I just don't think I can see a team with Wade and James and someone else is handling the ball the majority of the time. Maybe the correct scheme could make it work but James and Wade have to have the ball when they are on the court. A strong big man at center would be pretty cool to watch though. I could not imagine what they could do if they found someone like Howard (Magic).

eg8r

Soflasnapper
06-28-2012, 11:05 AM
Wade discussed how he liked a lineup on the floor with him and Chalmers AND Cole. It allowed someone else to bring it up the court, especially in non-fast break situations, and let him move off the ball to get open.

But as small as the Heat played, that is way smaller than even that. Probably not something that would be seen so much, BUT the concept still holds for advancing the ball past mid-court.

Wade is a so-so ball handler at this stage, and a couple sloppy late turnovers made some of those games closer than necessary.

Soflasnapper
07-02-2012, 10:48 AM
I called for this in the Eastern Conference finals, and now it has come true:

Wade will not go to the Olympics, and instead attend to his ailing knee, with surgery. Same with Bosh, in rehabbing his ab injury.

That is the least they can do to honor their $100 millions or so contracts, and I am pleased both have made this decision. (Wade's already been in the two prior Olympics, and Bosh at least the last one. That was where these three hatched their friendship and plans to hook up in Miami.)