Tag Archives: Indiana Pacers

A Ringless King No More: LeBron James is a Champion

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The King (pictured above) finally has his ring.

By Wesley Kaminsky

You didn’t want to admit it, but you knew LeBron James would be holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy one day. In fact, you had to know it was coming pretty soon.

It took him nine seasons, two NBA finals losses, two eastern conference finals losses, and three MVP’s, but James has finally reached his goal. A long, overdue goal. A weight off the chest of the guy who guaranteed he would bring multiple titles to Miami.

We all know the story of LeBron, and why there is now this cult as to why it is appropriate to root for him to fail. Believe me, I’m one of those guys. I could write all day about how I feel about the infamous “Decision,” in which LeBron became the most hated athlete in pro sports. I’m not getting into that today.

It’s time to appreciate his greatness. Did I just say that out loud?

After falling just short of winning a championship his first year in Miami, all the pressure was on James in the upcoming season. The Heat had just fallen to the Mavericks, dropping three straight games after leading 2-1, and the blame was all on LeBron. Rightfully so. It was LeBron who shied away from the spotlight in the fourth quarter of many of the games. It was LeBron who didn’t look like he wanted to be there. His poor finals performance fueled his haters and it validated all the criticism that he had been receiving throughout his career. Stuff like, “LeBron doesn’t have that killer attitude.”

Blah, blah, blah.

What you didn’t realize was that it fueled LeBron, and a monster was created. Continue reading

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The importance of Chris Bosh

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. At times, Chris Bosh (pictured above) gets lost in the shuffle on Miami’s loaded roster. People are beginning to realize his importance as Miami struggles to survive in the East without the third member of their “Big Three.”

By Andrew Wittry

From the start of the NBA season, the Miami Heat have been the Eastern Conference favorites.  After Chris Bosh’s abdominal strain sidelined him in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals things began to change. Then falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Heat were thrown into a must-win scenario in Game 4. It was the first time all season that Erik Spoelstra’s squad had been in danger of being eliminated by a non-elite team (any team outside of the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs). Their one-game deficit also marked the widespread realization of how important Chris Bosh is to the Heat.  Bosh often gets discounted when it comes to Miami’s “Big Three.” Wade is the long-time hero of Miami who brought a championship to South Beach. LeBron is the four-time MVP who puts the Heat on his back night in and night out. And what is Chris Bosh? In reality, he is an All-Star level talent who has 20 ppg and 10 rpg potential; however, the former Georgia Tech forward is the third scoring option in Miami and does not get the credit he deserves for the role he plays alongside D-Wade and LeBron.

It was not until Chris Bosh had to miss the rest of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals that fans began to understand just how integral he was to the Heat’s success. Without Bosh, the Heat have the dynamic tandem of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, aging forwards, and inconsistent shooters. With Bosh on the floor, defenses have to pay attention to both Miami’s guards and forwards. However, if Joel Anthony is involved in a pick-and-roll offense, defenders can concentrate on James and Wade since Anthony is not a major scoring threat. Even if the Heat are Dwyane Wade’s team, Chris Bosh is a more important player. Without Wade this year in the regular season, Miami went 7-1.  Without Bosh, they were 4-5. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-22-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. LeBron James (pictured above) put on a remarkable performance in Game 4. Sadly, it is ring or nothing for the King this year.

By Josh Kramer

40 points.  18 rebounds.  9 assists.  That was LeBron James stat line on Sunday.  Recognition was given for a good 24 hour period.  Come Game 5 (tonight), the remarkable performance will be a mere memory.  People are still far from satisfied with the King.  In taking his talents to Miami back on July 8, 2010, James chose a different life.  A life where the criticism never ends.  Where the expectations grow at an infinite rate.  A life where the word “satisfaction” does not exist.  And of course a life where returning home is more of a chore than a celebration.

You all are quite familiar with the story.  Not  1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7.  It is a quote on the same level of the classic Allen Iverson “We talking about practice” rant of ten years ago.  This season, LBJ put up arguably the greatest season of his already amazing career, helping him earn his third MVP Award in the past four years.  The amazing thing is nobody seems to care.  All anyone cares about are his missed free throws at the end of Game 2 against the Pacers.  Or the fact that he dished the ball to superstar teammate Dwyane Wade for the final shot in Game 2.

Watching LeBron play this season and during the early going of the playoffs has been a treat.  The guy is doing once in a lifetime type of things on both ends of the floor.  Sadly, the expectations are so high on the King, if he does not bring home a ring, it will all be nothing.  His remarkable 2011/2012 season will be thought of as a failure.  Will the Heat cut down the nets?  I am honestly not sure.  A lot hinges on when Bosh comes back and if he is at 100%.  Haslem did his best impersonation of the injured Chris Bosh on Sunday.  When push comes to shove though, Haslem is not nearly the caliber of player that Chris Bosh is.  Plus, OKC or San Antonio would be stiff competition if Miami were fortunate enough to get by Indiana and then the winner of the Boston/Philadelphia series.

I am by no means a LeBron James fan (I am not a hater either).  I never have been.  But I am a fan of the game of basketball.  The way James fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis deserves some praise.  What he did on Sunday was truly remarkable.  Sadly, if the Heat lose Game 5, it will all be forgotten.  Despite many saying Dwyane Wade is the leader of the Miami Heat, it is LeBron James who carries the team and the city on his shoulders.  It is LeBron James who took the brunt of the criticism when Miami came up empty-handed in 2011.  And it will be LeBron James who shoulders the majority of the criticism no matter how well he plays if the Heat do not capture a ring in June.  I guess that is the life of a King.  Things are great when you are winning.  Things are horrible when you are losing.  The life of a King is bittersweet. Continue reading

To do it all

Photo courtesy of inflexwetrust.com. Larry Bird (pictured above) added an NBA Executive of the Year Award to his already impressive resume yesterday. What can’t this legend do when it comes to basketball?

By Josh Kramer

Some people can just do it all.  Larry Bird is one of those people.  Yesterday, Bird added to his already amazingly long list of basketball achievements in taking home the NBA’s Executive of the Year Award.  Bird not only excelled as a player, but he saw  great success as a coach, and now is thriving as Indiana’s President of Basketball Operations.  Bird is the only person in NBA history to be named MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.  I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Bird would trade the latter two awards for the 1979 NCAA Basketball Championship though.  But I digress.

What Bird has accomplished is absolutely mind-boggling.  Just ask Michael Jordan how difficult it is to transition from a player to an executive.  Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats set an NBA record for the lowest winning percentage of all time this season.  Sure plenty of former players have turned into great coaches.  Phil Jackson, the “Zen Master,” is one of those guys.  But was Jackson half the player that Bird was? Continue reading

NBA Mid-Season Awards

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Chris Paul (pictured above) has made "Lob City" possible and turned the Clippers into a contender. He is also Wesley Kaminsky's pick for the MVP thus far.

By Wesley Kaminsky

With half of the condensed season done, the NBA world has seen everything from the Clippers becoming relevant to the legend of Jeremy Lin, also known as “Linsanity.” For NBA fanatics, this season has been fantastic, as there are games on every night. With a much-needed All-Star break coming up for the players, who is making the biggest impact this season? Here are my mid-season awards.

MVP: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers:

Look, the obvious choice for the MVP award this season is LeBron James, who has been simply sensational from Day 1. He’s averaging 27.6 points, 8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He’s also on the team that has the best record in basketball. Having said that, he doesn’t get my vote. Chris Paul does. Paul inherited a 32-50 Clipper team and has turned them into a contender. At 20-11, the Clippers are sitting atop the Pacific Division, with Paul averaging 19.2 points and 8.6 assists per game. He has been the catalyst all season long and is the main reason why the Clippers are for once relevant. I continue to try to make my case that on a team that features both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, neither of them should win the MVP award. Continue reading

Pacers add fuel to the fire

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Roy Hibbert (pictured above) and the Indiana Pacers are proving to be a contender in the early-going in the East. Will they mature in time for the playoffs?

By Josh Kramer

It is no secret that the Indiana Pacers have finally returned from their seven-year hiatus following the infamous, “Malice at the Palace.”  There is a reason why many, including myself, pronounced the Pacers as the sleeper team in the Eastern Conference.  Indiana has a good thing going, and will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.

Wednesday night, they handled business at arguably the toughest arena to visit in the NBA, the United Center.  Sadly though, they did not finish the job. The Pacers showed signs of their immaturity and inexperience via a very excessive post-game celebration (more on this later).  Going into Wednesday, Chicago, who also happens to be the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference was 8 and 0 at home.  Well the dreams of an undefeated home record were dashed on Wednesday by the very balanced attack of Indiana.

Indiana is a team that can beat you in so many ways. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-9-2012

Photo courtesy of sportsblame.com. Tim Tebow (pictured above) has once again taken over the sporting world. Nobody understands it, but the whole "Tebow Phenomenon" is quite entertaining.

By Josh Kramer

Tebow Time” is back and bigger than ever.  The Twitter world and ESPN will be a Tebow fest for the next week as Tebow preps for Round 2 with Brady and the Patriots.  Sports are a funny thing.  But I have never been as perplexed as I am by the whole “Tebow Phenomenon.”  The whole thing seems ludicrous and almost fake, but it is real.  Though the sporting world will center its attention on Tim Tebow and the Broncos this week, there are plenty of other things going on.  Here are the events to keep an eye on. Continue reading