Are The Miami Heat LeBron James’ Team Now?
If the 2011-2012 season has proven anything, it is that LeBron James has taken over as the leader of the Miami Heat, regardless of what Dwyane Wade says.
If you recall, Dwyane Wade said that he is now handing over the keys to the team over to James. “I wanted to give him the opportunity where he didn’t have to think about that. It’s kind of like I told him, ‘Listen, I’ll find my way. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be there. But you go out and be the player that we want you to be,’” Wade said to ESPN in a May interview. But the reality is that Wade didn’t have to “give” LeBron anything; King James took the ball and ran with it.
As evidenced by his MVP season and his remarkable run through the NBA Playoffs, LeBron is a man on a mission and will not allow the Heat to falter under his watch. We’ve all been waiting for it, but it has yet to happen. He’s averaging 30.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 5 assists per game in the playoffs. Yeah, he’s a stat monster, but he’s been solid in the clutch as well. Game 3 in Miami was nearly given to OKC when Wade turned the ball over four times in the fourth quarter, and one turnover in the final moments nearly blew the game. But LeBron knocked down an important free throw, made a couple of key plays, played great defense on Kevin Durant and gobbled rebounds to ensure that OKC wouldn’t get any second chances en route to a 91-85 victory that puts them up 2-1 in this best-of-seven series.
Win or lose, you can’t say that LeBron is not showing up. He’s put last year’s disappointing NBA Finals in the rearview mirror and stepped up in a major way. Meanwhile, we may be watching the slow fall of Dwyane Wade. It’s not that he’s losing it, it’s the fact that the injuries and the mileage are beginning to pile up on him and he’s showing some wear and tear. Wade is still a star, but he has no option but to defer to James. Wade’s 25, 7 & 7 in Game 3 were impressive, but if it wasn’t for LeBron James, the Heat may be down 0-3 to the Thunder.
This is where Miami was last season against the Mavericks. Can they finish the job?