The Miami Heat won their second NBA championship last night and they deserved it. LeBron James has put away any doubt who is the best player in the NBA. Also there is no doubt that the Heat is LeBron James team. Erik Spoelstra proved that he can coach a championship team. The much maligned Miami Heat bench stepped up in crucial moments to hit the big outside shot. What was impressive that a different player stepped up at crucial times to help the Heat to victory.
Early in the series it was Shane Battier who played an excellent series then in the middle of the series Mario Chalmers caught fire from outside. Late in the series Norris Cole made some key three point shots to help Miami erase a big deficit in game four. Both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade played well. Wade was the perfect complement to LeBron James and Bosh did the dirty work underneath the basket and shut down the Oklahoma City inside game that was so good in the San Antonio series.
It seemed last night that Oklahoma City just gave up and turned game five into a game of street ball with little defensive effort. Sadly, this falls on Scott Brooks Oklahoma City’s head coach. The NBA is a league of steps. Rarely does a team come out of nowhere to win the title like the Los Angeles Kings did in the NHL. For some reason I feel that Oklahoma City despite reaching the final took a step backwards. Brooks stayed with struggling players too long and did not trust his bench. He never really called that many plays and the Thunder just looked like a team of one on one players.
A player that really disappointed me was Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher. He just did not show the veteran leadership that was needed for the Thunder. Instead of slowing the team down at crucial times he allowed himself to get caught up in the Thunder’s fast break offense and at times he looked like a rookie instead of the championship tested veteran that he is.
For Oklahoma City to get over the hump next season they have to develop an inside presence on offense. The player is there on the roster Serge Ibaka. Ibaka has all of the physical skills to get the job done. If he can develop some post moves that would make Oklahoma City totally unstoppable. A physical defensive forward is needed. Kevin Durant just could not defend LeBron James. He was too strong whether posting up or slashing to the basket. With some adjustments Oklahoma City can win the title next season and the Heat-Thunder rivalry can turn into a 2000’s version of the Celtics-Lakers where both teams take turns winning NBA titles.