After the Miami Heat lost game one of the 2012 NBA Finals it was interesting reading the reactions from the media and NBA fans alike. It was as if the Heat had already lost the NBA Finals and the Oklahoma City Thunder were now crowned the champions. Yet, that did not happen as the Heat took home their second NBA championship in franchise history. Here are the five reasons the Heat won it all.
The first and obvious reason was the play of LeBron James as he started off each game scoring and making his presence felt. Game two showed his aggressiveness and willingness to get to the foul line and it was his highest scoring output of the series with 32 points and more importantly he made all 12 free throws. With the NBA championship in sight, James played his best game of the series scoring 26 points, to go along with 13 assists and 11 rebounds. Yet, the tremendous play of James started during game six against the Boston Celtics after the Heat blew a 2-0 lead. He became a man on a mission and tonight his mission is now complete.
Dwyane Wade made an impact even though he struggled to shoot the ball consistently in the series; he did find ways to get to the free throw line averaging eight attempts per game. The aggressiveness of Wade got the Thunder in foul trouble and with his inconsistent jumper he still managed to score at least 20 points in four of the five games. Depending on the game Wade would also make an impact on the glass or moving the ball around as he grabbed six or more rebounds three times and two games with seven or more assists.
With Chris Bosh in the lineup he added another scoring threat and make an impact on the glass specifically on the offensive end. Game two illustrates the impressive play of Bosh when he grabbed seven offensive rebounds and in total grabbed 15 rebounds while scoring 16 points. Game five was the only win the Heat had with Bosh not grabbing an offensive rebound, the three games before that he averaged five offensive rebounds per game.
Providing the defensive spark for the Heat was Shane Battier and at 33-years of age he is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. His main task was to defend Kevin Durant and make him work for every shot and have Durant expand more energy than usual on the offensive end. Battier also made a big impact offensively during game two and hit five threes and scored 17 points and anytime Battier scores in double digits it’s a bonus for the Heat.
Lastly and the most beneficial to the Heat was the play from the role players such as Mario Chalmers specifically game four. As he scored 25 points and more importantly scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter and his biggest contribution came in the last two minutes with a layup and made three free throws while James was on the bench out with an injury. Mike Miller was on fire for game five as he knocked in seven three pointers in eight attempts and finished the game with 23 points and more impressive that was a season high for Miller regardless of playoffs or regular season.
The mindset of James of starting quickly, Wade getting himself to the free throw line, the work on the glass by Bosh, the defense by Battier and the contributions from role players were the reasons why the Heat were able to win it all and it also proves why it’s not really a good idea to predict how a series will end up after just one game.