The NBA Finals are over, as the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games. LeBron took home MVP honors in dominant, triple-double fashion. The end of the Finals also means an end to the 3rd annual Big Shot Bob (Rob) Tournament, where we have a new champion, Dan “Big Purple” Leifer. The BSB(R) MVP goes to Sam Shin, because he is a mutual friend of me and Dan, and because, like both me and Dan, is a halfway-decent tennis and basketball player. Something about it feels right.
Below is my own personal recap, but there is required supplementary material in the form of heavenly video-recaps. Here are the epic micro-movies courtesy of some videographical badassery: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4, Game 5.
NBA Finals Recap:
Heat-Thunder: Most sereis that only last 5 games are lopsided and boring, but the Heat and the Thunder gave us thrilling basketball nonetheless. With substantial star power and legacies on the line, we were fully entertained. In the end, though, the LeBron and the Heat were too much for the Thunder.
A long time ago, in Game 1, Durant scored 36 points (17 in the 4th) and Russell went for 27 points, 11 dimes, and 8 boards in a Game 1 comeback victory. The Heat choked away a 13 point first-half lead, LeBron barely scored in the 4th (although he had 30 on the game), Wade was cold, and it looked like 2011 all over again. The good news was that Battier, who had struggled in the playoffs up to this point, found his shooting stroke (4-6 3pt). This would continue. Harden on the other hand, who had been brilliant in the playoffs up to this point, shot a mere 2-6 for 5 pts, 3 ast, and 0 ast. This would continue as well.
The Heat stole Game 2 (100-96) in OKC behind a disputed non-call as LeBron defended Durant on a final possession. The Heat had another fast start and led most of the game, before almost giving it away–this time they were able to hold on. Battier was once again brilliant from behind the arc (5-7 3pt) and Wade bounced back with 24 efficient points. Harden would have his only good game of the series (7-11 FG, 21 pts), but it wasn’t enough.
A confident Miami Heat team went home for Game 3 and started to flex their muscle for real. Although the Thunder led in the 3rd by 10, Scott Brooks sat both Durant and Westbrook after KD picked up foul #4 midway through the 3rd period. Miami came back and the rest was history. Harden struggled once again (2-10 FG), Battier was 2-2 from three-point land, and James had a dominant 29-point 14-rebound performance.
Game 4 was the Thunder’s big chance–they could either tie the series at 2-2 or go down an insurmountable 3-1 to a rolling Heat squad. Russell Westbrook turned in one of the most impressive performances in recent Finals memory, scoring 43 points on 20-32 shooting. Remarkably (and to the dismay of some), he only shot 3 free throws. But the Heat displayed some heroics of their own. Wade and Chalmers each had 25, and LBJ nearly had a triple double (26 pts, 12 ast, 9 reb) while he fought off severe leg cramps to hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 2:51 left to seal the deal. The Heat smelled blood.
And blood they got in Game 5 in Miami’s most dominant performance of the series. Durant was spectacular himself (13-24 FG, 32 pts, 11 reb), but Westbrook (4-20 FG) couldn’t replicate his Game 4 magic. More importantly, LeBron saved his best for last with a triple double (26 pts, 13 ast, 11 reb), Mike Miller shot 7-8 from downtown, and Wade and Bosh combined for 44 points on 26 shots. They were firing on all cylinders, and with the exception of Durant, they were able to hold off the rest of the Thunder.
Hero: LeBron James. Goat: James Harden. Best Bosxcore: LeBron’s Finals-clinching triple double…26 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds.
As for the Big Shot Bob Tourney Standings…
1. Dan Leifer (71)
2. David Gold (64)
2. Dave Attewell (64)
4. Chris Nolop (63)
4. Zach Mason (63)
4. Jesse Gainsburg (63)
7. Michael Eppler (61)
8. Ethan Frigon (58)
9. Andrew Wise (56)
10. Dickson Cohen (54)
11. Izzy Gainsburg (53)
12. Tommy McCarthy (52)
13. James Choca (46)
Dan Leifer will be providing us all with a brilliant guest post, just as he did when he wrote about the Hannukah mircale of Jan Vesely. Hopefully Rondo-Arms will make an appearance yet again.
Enjoy the off-season everyone!
Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and to like us on Facebook.