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Witness. As the Heat Keep Rolling.
- Updated: February 23, 2013
Witness. Sitting 5½ games ahead of their closest Eastern Conference foe at 38-14 its safe to say the Heat are rolling. Riding their season high 9-game winning streak that started on February 3rd in Toronto, they seem poised for second run at a chip’ and 3rd straight trip to the finals in 3 years. Since then, Lebron has been on fire, D’Wade looks rejuvenated, Ray Allen and Shane Battier are showing they can still ball, Birdman is turning out to be more than worth the signing and the team’s cohesiveness is constantly growing.
During this streak LeBron shot a NBA record 6 straight game of 30+ points at 60%+ (71.4% actual%) clip or higher. Witness. The streak ended just before the all star break in Oklahoma City during a 110-100 Heat victory. Where the Heat cruised to their 33rd win behind #6 and his 39 points on 14/24 shooting (for a measly 58% shootings), including 4/8 from behind the arc, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Witness. Following the break the Heat dominated the Hawks in the 4th quarter holding them to a 40-17 point differential in route to a 103-90 run. Again LeBron had 24 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assist (8 of which came in the 4th quarter) and 4 steals. Witness. Most recently on 2/21/13 LeBron paved the way for the Heat’s 38th victory with 26 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Witness. D’Wade had 17-8-5, Bosh 12, Allen with 11 and everyone contributed on another back to back game as the Heat continue to look more and more dangerous with each passing week.
Currently the 3rd best scorer in the league and constant triple double threat is averaging 27 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists while shooting a career high 56.7% FG and 41.6% 3-point is well on his way to his 4th MVP. This MVP would be his 4th in 5 years. Witness. It is now the ‘norm’ for LeBron to have 27+ point, 8+ board, 7+ assist and however many other stats he can accumulate during a single game, many night while playing under 33 minutes. The fact this is his ‘norm’ is nothing short of incredible; especially when you add in that if he has a game with less stats its looked at being mediocre when compared with most players it would be a career night. Witness. If any other player in the league was able to put up his type of stats nightly, there would almost be no discussion to who the best player it and they would be unanimous MVP. Having his best statistical season yet at 29 points, 7 boards and 4 assists a game while contending to join the legendary 50/40/90% shooting club Kevin Durant is still unable to produce the all around scorecard LeBron does with consistency night in and night out. Witness. We as basketball fans are so fortunate to be able to watch such a great player, who is already highly regarded as a top player of all time, do what he does best each and every time he steps on the hardwood. Witness. Many people take for granted this type of skill, trying to bash it by comparing it to other players, most commonly Kobe or Jordan. These are unfair assertions and comparisons. As stated by the King, “I’m not MJ I’m LJ,” perfectly sums up how much he cares about following in the steps of MJ. He is more than content and well on his way of setting up his very legacy. LeBron is not Michael nor will he ever be. Lets put that conversation to rest, and maybe one day when its all said and done for LeBron and his career we can compare the careers and see who truly was the best. Not who had the killer instinct, not who had the most rings, not who meant the most to the game; What I want to know is who was truly the best, what they brought to their team and what they did on the court as a all around basketball player to define their career as the “best.”
LeBron James is doing all this while simultaneously leading the charge for the Miami Heat who currently hold down the top record in the East, and frankly its not a very close race. Tonight the Heat will look to extend their current winning streak to 10 against the Philadelphia 76’ers which will be the last of the 3 game road trip. The 76’ers have been having a decent season despite some ups and downs sitting at 22-30 which is good for 9th place in the East. They are still battling for the final playoffs spot minus their key off season acquisition, Andrew Bynum who insists he will play this season. Jrue Holiday is looking more and more like the future stud point guard the 76ers were expecting and he should do his part in giving the Heat a run for their money tonight. With a victory tonight the Heat could further extend their lead out East and leave themselves with a 39-14 record. The way they have been playing as of late with LeBron running things down in South Beach the way the Heat looked primed to run through the second half of the regular season and secure home court advantage throughout their run back to the Eastern Conference Finals. Witness. Do not be surprised to see the Heat end the season only losing an additional 3 games or less. After all they are rolling, have the best player in the world playing his best basketball to date, 2 additional perennial all stars in Bosh and Wade, a future hall of famer in Allen, and a very motivated team to come back and win their second ring.
Witness. One day this will be all history and we are fortunate enough to be able to Witness it as it is happening. For now lets sit back and watch as history unfolds before our eyes.
*Stats from NBA.com
*Picture from AmericanAirlinesArena.com