After taking a week off to rest his broken nose, LeBron James could not have asked for a more beaten and battered opponent than the New York Knicks. Fresh off a buzzer-beater loss to the Dallas Mavericks, which was only a part of the night, guard Raymond Felton turned himself into police on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon. It was later released that police were also investigating the accusation that Felton threatened his wife with a gun.
While the Knicks’ tempers are finally boiling over due to this miserable season, the Miami Heat are prepared to make history and become the sixth franchise in NBA history to win a third-straight championship. For James, not only could he win a third-straight title, but he could also be named league MVP for a third consecutive time.
However, right now the heavy favorite is Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, who is having a lights-out season as an individual and has weathered the storm of Russell Westbrook‘s injuries.
That being said, James’ return to the court on Thursday night will matter greatly to his shot at the MVP award. It hasn’t exactly been a standout season for the Heat and James. Durant, on the other hand, has been on an incredible tear as the league’s current scoring leader with 31.6 points per game.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. There are 28 games left for Miami, and 28 opportunities for James to wow the basketball universe. You have to expect Durant’s numbers to drop off now that Westbrook has returned, and I expect James to go crazy during this final stretch of the season.
My prediction for Thursday night against the Knicks: James returns wearing a protective mask, but goes off for 35 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. The MVP race might look like Durant’s at the moment, but believe me, it is going to get a lot tighter over the next month.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.