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Posts Tagged ‘NBA Champions’

The Resurgence of Dwyane Wade

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Dwyane Wade

Since he exploded on the world stage at the Olympics this past summer, expectations for the return of Dwyane Wade’s top-five-in-the-NBA game ratcheted up. 21 games into the season later, Wade is not only meeting these high expectations, he’s exceeding them.

After scoring 41 points to help beat the Charlotte Bobcats last night, Wade pushed his league-leading scoring average up to 29.5 points a game. Not only that, but he’s shooting almost 50 percent in the process (.499). Most importantly, Wade’s return to greatness is helping lift the Miami Heat off the cellar floor of the Eastern Conference. The Heat are currently 12-9, 3 wins away from equaling last season’s win total.

More on the Return of the Wade after the jump >>

Doc Rivers Responds

While the playoffs were taking place, no coach was more maligned that Boston’s Doc Rivers. Questions about his rotations, his ability to coach defense — an apparent shortcoming Rivers himself was aware when he accepted Tom Thibodeau as one of his assistants — and his ability to motivate were constantly called out.

Never mind the fact that he had just coached his team the best record in the NBA during the regular season. Surprisingly, when Boston actually made it to Finals — dispatching Detroit and LeBron along the way — these cries seemed to actually get worse. The main point of contention was Phil Jackson was going to coach circles around Doc.

Well, now that the Boston Celtics have their 17th, Doc has a little message for all of his doubters:

Doc Rivers

But it doesn’t end there. If ever a newly-minted championship coach from the NBA needed a voice of support, Dr. Jack Ramsey, a person who’s forgotten more about basketball than most of us will ever know, provided Rivers a loud one:

Going into this series it was assumed that the Lakers had a significant coaching edge with Phil Jackson. But by the end of the series, the consensus is that Rivers outcoached Jackson by a wide margin.

It’s funny the difference a week and some change makes.

The Redemption of Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

OK, time for a quick house-cleaning segment: when I said the Lakers would win in six over at With Malice, obviously I made a typo. I must have meant Boston but it just came out as LA. Yeah, we’ll say that. ;)

Anyway, besides bringing another title to Beantown and besides adding Paul Pierce to the list of all-time great Boston Celtics players, it also served as some redemption for Kevin Garnett. Not only was the Big Ticket maligned for his play in Game 5 (and the rest of the playoff games where he didn’t put 26 and 14 on the board), he was also getting the point of joining players like Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Charles Barkley — great NBA players who never won a championship.

No longer.

Kevin Garnett is now a card-carrying member of the NBA Greats pantheon and the NBA Championship served as his final test before he received admittance.

Whether it was with plays like this:

Or by being the emotional leader of his team — as evidenced here:

Kevin Garnett deserves the accolades he’ll now receive and he deserves to be mentioned with the NBA’s all-time greatest players. Welcome to the club, Kevin. Enjoy your stay.

NBA Finals: Top of the World

NBA Champs

Introducing your NBA World Champions, the Boston Celtics. After beating the absolute snot out of the Lakers last night — 131 -92 — the NBA welcomed their latest champion, a franchise that’s awfully familiar with the NBA’s championship hardware (although, not for the last 20-plus years). For Boston, this title represents their 17th, the most of any NBA team.

Here are some particulars:

* Finals MVP – Paul Pierce (although Jesus deserves a mention here)

* Finals records broken – 3 pointers for a single game and a series (Ray Allen had seven last night for a total of 22)

* Single-game Finals steal record with 18

* Largest margin of victory in a closeout game (39 points)

In yesterday’s preview post, I asked a number of questions about the Celtics and I think they answered them, and then some. KG had a brilliant game (26 and 14) as did Ray Allen (26 points, 7-8 from beyond the arc). However, it was Rajon Rondo’s aggressive defense that set the tone for the Celtics and helped show the Lakers the door.

Speaking of the Lake-show, as their score indicates, no one was able to get much of anything going. Even the NBA’s MVP struggled, scoring 22 points on 7-22 shooting. However, considering the make-up of the Lakers and the return of Andrew Bynum next season, many believe this is only the first of many trips to the door of the NBA’s promised land. We’ll see.

As for the newly championed Boston Celtics, it’s time to enjoy the spoils of victory. Congratulations, Boston. You certainly were the best team this year. We’ll have much, much more on this as the day progresses.