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.