I don't even have much to say about this one. The Mavs played like a real team and the cHeat played like a bunch of pickup ballers who handpicked their squad to steamroll everybody and couldn't understand why they weren't.
That's the way it was all series.
I wonder how Miami fans feel about LeBron James right now. He checked out last night. Totally checked out. Anybody who watched the game knows it's true. The reality is, he seemed to check out a couple games ago, about the time things stopped going his team's way.
James was all celebration and swagger during the early rounds. The cHeat beat up on a flawed Celtics team and a Bulls team that still has some growing up to do...and nobody was more in-our-faces about it than LeBron. Dancing and air-punching and screaming after big plays. The closer Miami got to clinching a series, the better he got. He was at his absolute best when his team was on top.
When they stopped being on top...he faded slowly into the backdrop.
This is why I bristle every time LeBron starts getting compared to Michael Jordan. It happened again when the cHeat eliminated the Bulls. I couldn't believe it. I really thought that, at the very least, people should have waited until he owned the Finals and finally won a championship. His stats and abilities are so amazing that people want to crown him King before he's ready for the throne.
He's not. That much is obvious. Last night's game was ugly. He was passive. He played scared. He avoided contact and passed the ball like a hot potato.
This isn't meant to be a dogpile on LeBron. Not exactly. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade weren't perfect. Bosh had a good offensive game but gave up some key offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, and Wade shot poorly and was generally ineffective. But although those guys didn't play well, I never got the sense they stopped trying. Especially Wade. Dude looked locked in, even if he spent a little too much time looking to the refs to bail him out.
LeBron, the so-called best basketball player in the world and possibly the greatest physical specimen the league has ever seen, played like a roleplayer.
That cost Miami a championship. Or at least a Game 7.
And King Crab, as has been the case ever since The Decision, simply couldn't go down with class and dignity.
Said LeBron: "At the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point."
That lone statement speaks volumes about who and what LeBron is at this point in his life. Things didn't go his way in Cleveland and so he fled to Miami. Now there's nowhere to run and he wants us lesser mortals to remember he lives a better life than we do. Totally douchebaggery.
But you know what's great about sports? There's always a chance for redemption. Just as Dirk Nowtizki. Over the course of this year's playoffs, and especially in the Finals, Dirk destroyed all conventional thinking about his toughness and ability to come through when it matters. Words like "soft" and "choker" can't be used on him any more. He's a champion and a Finals MVP. One of the all-time greats.
The same thing can happen for LeBron. The story isn't over. But he has a lot of work to do -- both in terms of his game and his mindset. He could stand a large dose of humility for starters.
So, on behalf of myself, AnacondaHL, chris and Dan B., I want to thank everybody for another fun season of bawful. Tomorrow begins our summer reading program. Until then, enjoy all the press about LeBron's failures.
Chris's Slightly Belated, But Still Elated, Ewok Cheer Lacktion Report:
Mavs-El (Oh El) Heat: Juwan Howard finished his Finals career the way just about everyone expected...bricking thricely (including twice from the charity stripe!) and losing the rock once in 6:58 for a +4 suck differential and a non-celebratory 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl!!!!