James Nosek | Press Box Perspectives Editor/Columnist
It was either a message to the Heat fans of the American Airlines Arena or a message to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but LeBron James sure made his point.
With 5:50 remaining in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, James did the impossible: he hit a clutch three pointer in the fourth quarter.
James was guarded tightly at the top of the key. He dribbled right and made a quick cross-over left. Then, he just launched a shot from about three feet behind the 3 point line. Sure, the shot clock was winding down, but give the man some credit.
After he shot it, James came back down, with his shooting motion frozen in time. James’ right arm was facing the championship banner-less ceiling of the American Airlines Arena, and his hand facing downwards at the light wood floor.
Then, the ball went right through the rim—a reaction from the Heat fans followed.
There was no reaction from LeBron though. He just stood there with his right arm straight up and his eyes glued at the rim. The three increased the Heat’s lead to seven.
Now, the Heat was headed for the NBA finals for the second year in a row. Now, LeBron James could put down his arm and head back on defense.
It was a big win for the Heat, but even bigger for James. Miami finished the comeback of being down 3-2 to the Celtics and have the opportunity to play the Oklahoma City Thunder for the NBA Championship.
But remember, James is not the only piece to the puzzle for the Heat. He has two other superstars to back him up. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, along with James and the rest of the team, are ready to take on the challenge of playing the fun, energetic Thunder.
More importantly though, this is the chance for the Heat to redeem themselves from last year’s upset loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. They are ready to show that having three superstars on the same team can comingle and win a title, and also: shut everyone up.
The Thunder will be a tough test, as they are led by the 23-year old wonders of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Durant vs. LeBron. Wade vs. Westbrook. And don’t forget about Bosh vs. Harden. It’s Big 3 vs. Big 3.
I can’t wait.
Also, both teams are coming into the Tuesday night match-up with a multitude of momentum. The Thunder won game six against the San Antonio Spurs on their home court, and it was an exciting one to say the least. But it’s the Heat that have the most momentum coming into the Finals—come on, did you see how they ended game seven.
Miami’s Big 3 looks scary right now. Especially, with Bosh back from injury. The combo of James, Wade and Bosh scored all 28 points of the Heat’s fourth quarter points against the Celtics in game seven. James had 11 points in the final frame and Bosh, who finished the game with 19 points, had two clutch threes in the fourth quarter. This was the dangerous attitude we have been waiting for from these three, and what better time to instill it.
After game six in the Eastern Conference Finals James said: “I won’t regret game seven.”
I don’t think he’s going to regret this year’s finals either.