LeBron James will be the NBA’s Most Valuable Player — that is no secret. It might be unanimous! James averaged 27.0 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game. And his team, the Miami Heat, are the defending NBA Champions. And with the NBA playoffs underway as of April 20, the Heat are heavy favorites to reach the Finals for the third straight year.
That would be quite the feat for the Heat. This is what was expected, you know, when James left Cleveland three years ago as unrestricted free agent and teamed with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in South Beach.
Last year they won the title in five games over Okalahoma City, and this Heat team is deeper. Three years ago, James said he’d lost touch with who he was as a basketball player and a person.
Only thing left now is for James to do what the greatest players of all time have done before him: Repeat! Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan — all repeaters. When you win back-to-back titles and you are the consensus best player, it puts you in rarified air. I can’t see anyone in the East slowing down this Heat machine.
New York’s Carmelo Anthony — what a marvelous season he had snatching the NBA scoring title away from Kevin Durant 28.7 to 28.1, ending his three year reign. But can he lead the Knicks past the Heat and into the Finals?
Here’s the rest of the 15 NBA playoff teams and their potential possibility. First, the Eastern Conference: Milwaukee 38-44 (no chance), Boston 41-40 (not happening), Brooklyn 49-33 (not ready), Indiana 49-32 (it’s possible), Chicago 45-37 (no Derrick Rose), Atlanta 44-38 (don’t see it), New York 54-38 (we will see).
Western Conference: Oklahoma City 60-22 (best shot!), San Antonio 58-24 (second-best shot),
Denver 57-24(let’s run), Los Angeles Clippers 56-26 (Chris Paul), Memphis 54-26 (really good), Golden State 47-35 (welcome back), Los Angeles Lakers 45-37 (no Kobe), Houston 45-37(no sir).
Enjoy over the next 40 days into June. See you in the Finals.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.
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