The South Beach Redemption! (But for which team?)

Posted: 2012/06/21 in Basketball, NBA

♫So who’s it gonna be him or me?♫…

Big rapper for a big game tonight. In tonight’s game  5 of the NBA finals (OKC Thunder vs. Miami Heat) does Miami wrap-up the championship, in the last home game in American Airlines arena (no matter who wins tonight) like most believe they will? Or does the Thunder prove that such “Big talk”  about  their demise is “Dead Wrong”?  

Biggie Smalls paraphrasing aside…the OKC Thunder truly have ONE MORE CHANCE tonight (and for the rest of the season).

So How does this one play out? Does Lebron finally silence all of the critics who have called him “The King Without a Ring”, “Lechoke” and stuff I can’t even post on my wild page? Does Kevin Durant prove that he isn’t about to accept the new “timid” tag , that the basketball world is trying to push on him (the “timid” tag becomes the “soft” tag very fast, Kevin…watch out). Does Harden ACTUALLY show up tonight in Miami tonight (Come on “BIG CUZ”, lol)? Will Westbrook have to Score 50 points grab 10 rebounds and dish 50 assists to FINALLY GET some respect for what he does/has done all year (Check out my “Lay off of Russell Westbrook” blog from DECEMBER)?

My hope and belief is that Lebron finally gets his ring in a Miami Heat coronation tonight…completing his “South Beach Redemption”. Lebron has been stellar in these playoffs and his team has follwed suit. Lebron has not only “come of age” in his “Superstar to Legend” quest, but the heat are finally becoming a team and Spoelstra is becoming an EXCELLENT coach.  Yeah, I just typed that…but he deserves it with his coaching in these finals (and I thought that he was going to need a “blindfold and a cigarette” against Scott Brooks in a coaching duel). The Heat have all rallied around Lebron’s brilliant play (the refusal to jump-shoot his team into a shallow lead and ultimately a devastating loss and his all-around (year round) brilliance). Now The stars are playing like STARS and the role players are playing their roles. The old talk (about the “hollywood as hell” Miami Heat) is about 48 minutes of championship basketball away from being SHATTERED.

Credit the trials and tribulations that the Heat have had to endure, if they pull this off tonight!  They have been through HELL in these playoff and have learned from it. More importantly though, they have learned about themselves (and how to play together).

Kevin Durant and the  OKC Thunder seem poised to go through the same thing. After an amazing playoff run, he and  his team of “upstart” OKC Thunder players are starting to see REAL NBA pressue.  He and Harden are now  running up against some rumblings of criticism, after some “less than agressive” games vs the Heat. That type of criticism was usually reserved for Russell Westbrook. Westbrook’s heroic attempt to get his team the win in Miami (ending with 43 points , 7 rebounds and 5 assists) absolved him of a lot of the UNFAIR criticism he had been getting. Even Magic Johnson apologized for his reckless comment about Russell playing the WORST point guard  play he had seen (in the finals). Meanwhile , the team’s true playmaker has been INVISIBLE in Miami. James Harden has been completely out-played by the “Heat Collective” that I described in my “New School vs Newer School” article.  Do Kevin Durant and James Harden (and I would even add Scott Brooks to the mix) redeem themselves and their team tonight? Or will they have the kind of 2012-2013  that the Heat had  to endure this year (before they found their true identity in these playoffs)?

In the end, it just seems to be the Heat’s “year”. Last year ended terribly for this team and they have been dying to redeem themselves.  We saw this with Dirk Nowitzki  in last year’s Dallas Mavericks championship run. The Heat  are playing the right way, at the right time and against a TOUGH team. 

Who will get their redemption tonight? Let’s play ball!!!!!!!

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