Off the Ball

Wednesday 23 July 2014

LeBron can take the Heat – to third consecutive NBA title

Donny Mahoney

Published 04/06/2014|02:30

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Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers

I'm just back from consuming two weeks of sport in the States, and I'm embarrassed to admit I've returned with a new affection for LeBron James.

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The NBA Finals begin tomorrow night, with LeBron's Miami Heat playing the San Antonio Spurs in a rematch of last year's memorable Finals series.

The Heat have sleepwalked through the Eastern Conference, and during their recent series with the Indiana Pacers, I was disgusted to find myself cheering for the Heat, the juggernaut going for a third consecutive NBA title.

I cheer for the underdog in 99pc of games, but faced with a choice between Indiana, a badly-coached team with mostly unlikeable players, and Miami, a force of nature with mostly unlikeable players, I pulled for the champs.

This was most evident in Game 5, when the referees seemed to be conspiring on the Pacers' behalf, only for Miami to launch an incredible late comeback, marked by a LeBron James blocked shot – possibly the maddest display of athleticism I've ever seen.

The sentimentalists out there would love to see 38-year-old Tim Duncan lead the Spurs to the NBA title, but not me. Bigger is better. Go Heat.

Irish Independent

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