After a tough first 9 seasons in the NBA, with lots of criticism, lots of hate and love for his face, Lebron James finally redeemed himself last season winning the long-awaited Championship Ring. Can he really do it again this year?
Whether you hate Lebron, love him or simply don’t care about him –that would be curious- you have to admit that he is the best player currently in the NBA. I am not talking about best scorer, best passer or best rebounder or even the most clutch player. I am talking about doing all these together at a superior level, non-human, video-game like. Even if you were a tough NBA defender it’s almost impossible to stop a 6-8” body-frame weighting 250 lbs coming towards you at full speed. Combine it with top-class agility and shooting stroke and you have an ultimate weapon at your arsenal. I mean, what can’t Lebron really do? The most usual answer to this question until last June was that he can’t win a championship. Or some jokes about giving him a dollar and him giving you ¾ back. Well, all that has now changed, at least at some point. It’s always natural for a champion to ease the tension towards himself and that happened also with Lebron. Especially when this summer we all witnessed the Dwight Howard saga that finally ended up with him being traded to the Lakers. In fact the Lakers took a lot of the media attention and the criticism that Miami and Lebron had last year. It seems that together with power always comes responsibility and expectations for the greatest achievements. That’s what the Lakers face this year, they are in the tough position the Heat were last year. They are in a win now mode and not only because of getting 4 former all stars in their starting lineup, but also because everybody knows that in order to compete in the NBA, you need to be fresh (and young enough). The Lakers don’t have the luxury to wait a year or two like Miami did. On the other hand, the Lakers have already won several championships and the fans may not be so championship-hungry.
Back to Lebron and Miami, though, could they really make it to the finals again and win their second in a row? Only the Lakers have achieved to win two or more in a row the past decade. But the question might be which team can beat Miami in 7 games? As they’ve proved last year, they can do well even with tall teams managing well their weakness at frontcourt. They found the way to make the most out of their roster. What they wisely did last year for example against the Thunder at the finals, was that they switched Shane Battier at the four. That changed the game, because it forced Serge Ibaka, the monster blocker, run all the court around to chase Battier and defend him shooting the three. So that left the inside space clear Lebron and Wade. This year, they’ve added also Ray Allen, who needs no comments about his three pointers and Rashard Lewis, plus they’ve kept all the valuable members at their team. And with Lebron having another super season this far, they look like they are eligible to repeat. Let’s wait and see how things go for Miami and all the other true Championship contenders.