LeBron James didn’t rest for one second, and that’s what it’s going to take for him to win his first NBA title and lead the Miami Heat to their second. It’s what it took for him to lead his team to a 101-88 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Only six players scored points for the Miami Heat, but none of them less than 7 points. The Heat did rely on LeBron James with his 31 points and big baskets all along the way, keeping the Heat in the game every time the Boston Celtics threatened to break away. He played at his best when the Celtics took an 11 point lead. Miami played their best just when the Celtics players ran out of steam.
Call it age and fatigue, but whatever it was, the Miami Heat saved their best for last by outscoring the Boston Celtics 55-35 in the second half. Rajon Rondo, who finished with yet another triple double – 22 points, 10 rebound and 14 assists. All these impressive numbers didn’t do him and his teammates any good when the Heat had a 20-6 run in the final eight minutes of the game. Both Wade (7 points) and LeBron James (8 points) outscored the fading green.
The initial thought – Despite LeBron James heading into his third NBA finals, what the Miami Heat have won’t be enough against the surging Oklahoma City Thunder. But Chris Bosh make the Heat look like we’ve forgotten they can look like – He added 19 points off the bench and the Heat were +17 during his 31 minutes. If there was a game changer in in the last two games, it wasn’t just LeBron James’ taking it to another level. It was the Heat getting their third All-Star back.
Bosh made Kevin Garnett look, well, old. The Celtics hate that word, but that’s what it felt like as LeBron James hit one crazy three and kept racing through the middle of the paint for another spectacular dunk. Chris Bosh changed the game by hitting shots from everywhere – 8-10 from the field, 3-4 from beyond the arc, It reminded us of how good the Miami Heat can be when they’re firing on all three cylinders.
As with every playoff exit for the Boston Celtics, and especially during the last couple of seasons as they were outplayed by the Heat, there’s a feeling of an ending, of breakup. Ray Allen looked like he was about to shed a tear. Kevin Garnett tried to look tough, but he looked tired. You expect a team like the Celtics to a beat nastier, less gracious in defeat, but realization is tough and a weary burden.
Doc Rivers signed a five year extension worth $35 million last summer after everyone were sure he was to retire, or at least take a short break from coaching after the Celtics bowed down in the Conference Semi Finals against the Miami Heat.
With a healthy Rajon Rondo and an injured Chris Bosh, he almost got a third trip to the NBA finals as head coach of the Celtics. But the Miami Heat, despite all that’s happened in such a short time, all the roller-coaster rides, all the ups and downs, are a team. They have one super-special player in LeBron James, but there’s a lot more substance than what they’re given credit for.