LeBron and the 2012 Finals Part I: Why I Think the Heat Will Win

LeBron is no false king.  He will achieve his crown, finally, in the next two weeks–and he’ll still be younger than Jordan was when he won his first ring in ’91.  Why will he and the Heat win?  Here’s the breakdown:

1. From a pure basketball perspective, it’s no secret that Lebron is the most efficient player in the game.  Wade isn’t far behind, either.  In the playoffs, when every minute counts, efficiency is a good thing to have on your side.

2. From a psychological perspective, the desperation LeBron surely feels as a result of the epic narrative that has emerged from his pursuit of a championship, will give him a leg up over Durant and Co.  I have no doubt that Durant is relishing the rareness of this moment.  He probably even learned from watching a young LeBron in 2007, losing to an older, hardened group of San Antonio veterans.  Durant isn’t happy simply to have made it this far, and I have no doubt that he and the Thunder will put up an incredible fight.  But LeBron’s will cannot be matched in this series.  It will be rivaled by Durant and Westbrook and Harden and Ibaka, but not matched.

3.  From an experience perspective, veterans tend to win championships over younger, more athletic teams.  Even describing the Heat as the less athletic team seems crazy, whereas the spindly, freakish finesse of Durant and Westrbook is countered by the sturdier, powerful athleticism of Wade and LeBron.  In the playoffs especially, the stronger, meaner, older, more manly team tends to win.  Last year, the Mavs played more like men (old, crafty, mean men) than the Heat.  This year, the Heat will, at times, make the 23-year-old Durant  and his baby-faced counterparts look like young boys.

 

That’s it as far as why I think the Heat will win.  Beyond basketball, what LeBron winning will mean for us all (fans, media, society, etc. –all that good stuff I wrote about last year) will be addressed in Part II of my NBA Finals analysis.  Stay tuned.

 

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One thought on “LeBron and the 2012 Finals Part I: Why I Think the Heat Will Win

  1. Lebron is a false king – he’s a king without a crown. He’s the Lord of No Rings.

    In these playoffs, Durant has been just a shade less efficient than Lebron, while Westbrook is more efficient than Wade and Harden more efficient than anyone else on the Heat. According to http://www.nba.com/statistics/player/Efficiency.jsp . Durant is just as close behind Lebron in regular season efficiency as well, despite being several years younger and less polished

    What makes Lebron’s will any stronger than Durant’s? How can one measure that? I think the argument could likewise be made that a desperate player might be more prone to make mistakes and second guess himself. Either way, it’s moot

    The Thunder are deeper and more well rounded – the Durant/Westbrook/Harden “Big 3” has arguably played better than the Lebron/Wade/Bosh “Big 3”, and is probably ~just as talented. Players 4-9, there’s no comparison. The Thunder have more defensive options to bring off the bench, more “instant offense,” better rebounders, better spot-up shooters. Younger, healthier and more athletic. They have a player in Fisher who has more championship experience than the entire Heat roster combined. And they have home court advantage. (And now, a 1-0 leg up)

    All the comparisons between Lebron and Jordan have always been ridiculous (by the way, Jordan went to college for several years — Lebron’s in his 9th year in the Association, MJ won his first ring in his 8th). If anything, Durant is far more ‘Jordan-esque’ – smoothest unstoppable jumper in the league, tendency to take over 4th quarters, make shots when it matters most, has that genuine killer instinct that Lebron has always lacked.

    Kevin Durant will ultimately prove to be the best player of his/this generation, and a new chapter in the his legend will be written after winning the first of many titles at the ripe age of 23.

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