Archive for the ‘2012 NBA Finals’ Category

Mike Miller helped LeBron James win his first NBA title.

Game Five should be renamed, “The Mike Miller Show,” ย or ย at least if you’re from South Dakota. The former Mitchell, South Dakota native saved his best effort for last.

Miller said after the game, “I’m just glad they didn’t take me out back to the barn and put me down.” He has dealt with injuries (a bad back, bad knees, and a sports hernia), and talked retirement. Well, this would be the best way to go out. He just played his best game of his life with an NBA championship on the line. Now, he is an NBA champion.

Miller played 23 minutes in Game Five, whereas he only played a total of 21 minutes in the first four NBA Finals games. Miller made seven three-pointers in Game Five (1 short of Ray Alllen’s NBA Finals record of eight), and finished with 23 points off the bench for the Miami Heat. He went seven of eight from beyond the arc. In fact, he actually hit his first three point field goal in Game Five.

Here are all seven of Miller’s three pointers during Game Five:

In the first four games, Miller scored eight points, didn’t make a three and made just two field goals.

Miller’s three pointer in the third quarter that put the Heat up 88 to 63 might have been the biggest or when he knocked back to back threes at the start of the fourth quarter to take a 101 to 74 lead. He also got some huge rebounds, and dove for balls out of bounds. He wanted that championship. His put aside his pain for greatness.

Mike Miller has had to battle plenty of injuries on his way to first NBA title in his 11 years pro.

Miller, is a former two-time South Dakota state basketball champion at Mitchell High School, played in an NCAA championship for Florida, played in two NBA Finals (one won and lost one), won a NBA rookie of the year and an NBA sixth man award. He is NBA journeyman as he has played for Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington, and now, Miami.

Miller once averaged 18 points a game during a season for Memphis, but has seen his time in Miami in become ravaged by injuries. In two years in Miami, he played 80 out of 148 games, and saw his shooting percentage take a dip. However, with an NBA championship on the court, he wanted to be part of every second of what would be his first championship.

Miller fought. I think that is what will be best remembered for the kid once nicknamed “Skinny.” I remember when he picked up his second foul of Game 5, I remember him seeing Coach Erik Spoelstra signal for Norris Cole, but Miller said, I want to stay in this game. He did. He would pick up his fourth foul of the game in the second quarter, but showed he wanted to grind it out.

I can only imagine his teammates have the greatest respect for him. Juwan Howard helped him get up when he got down, and he got ovations from the crowd when he came out. He has been through it all. He made the playoffs in Memphis, lost early, endured losing season in Minnesota, and Orlando, been to championships and lost, but now, the greatest feeling in the world, he is a World Champion. He has that coveted ring.

In fact, it is even sweeter because today is daughter, Jaelyn turns one after recovering from having surgery to remove four holes in her heart. (Check out Gregg Doyel’s article on Miller, worth the read: (http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/19400661/if-this-is-it-for-ultratough-miller-what-a-way-to-go)

Will he call it quits on top, or will he come back for more? Either way, another chapter of the legend of Mike Miller grew on Thursday night.

In the end, Mike Miller can say, “It all hurts so good!”

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It’s the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Miami Heat for all the marbles. A world championship is on the line. The NBA couldn’t have dreamt up a more sexy match-up for the finals.

LeBron James is 27 years old. He a three time NBA regular season MVP. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant is 23 years old. He is a three time scoring champion.

Two of the NBA’s bright young stars are on the big stage and have a chance to win their first rings to help cement their legacies in NBA history.

For the Miami Heat, it is their second trip to the Finals in as many seasons after the Big Three came to South Beach and promised not one, two, but as many as eight championships. (I don’t think LeBron was thinking of Eastern Conference championships, either. He has two with the Heat, and one with the Cavs.)

Miami got up 2 to 0 on Boston, then fell behind 3 to 2 before winning the next two games to advance to the NBA Finals. Not to mention, it was all behind the King or Chosen One, LeBron James. James played with that look in his eyes. That look of a champion.

If you like James or am a hater, either way, you had to be impressed by his historic game 6 performance where he had 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. His game 7 wasn’t too shabby either. He has silenced his critics for now. However, were are on the big stage now, the NBA Finals.ย Last year, LeBron couldn’t finish, he would play well for three quarters and disappear. It was like a magician’s act. Is this his time?

You can’t give James all the credit either. Before Game 6, people were questioning James, Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat. Is James capable of bringing the Heat back? What if they lose to the Celtics, is Spoelstra done? What’s wrong with Wade? Will Chris Bosh play again?

All of those questions got answered. James had two big games to finish the aging Celtics. I have to think his three pointer in Game 7, which felt like it was from half court, was the momentum killer. Don’t forget Bosh’s huge defense and three pointers in Game 7 either or Shane Battier’s performance.

So, can the Heat win a ring now?

Out in the wild west, as Garth Brooks once sang, the Oklahoma City Thunder are rolling. They are formerly the Seattle SuperSonics, and are led by Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. In fact, Westbrook and Harden are 23 and 22 years old. So, could this be the start of a dynasty in Oklahoma City? Don’t forget role players like Serge Ibaka (I-block-a), Kendrick Perkins, Derek Fisher (he wants to one up Kobe Bryant and get his sixth ring).

For the Thunder, I am most intrigued by is the job that head coach Scott Brooks is doing. His team was down 2 to 0 to the San Antonio Spurs. They had won twenty games in a row. They’ve won championships. Yet, defying odds, the Thunder hand the Spurs four consecutive losses. The Thunder got nasty on the Spurs. Now, can they get nasty again on the Miami Heat?

All I can say is that this NBA Finals is going to be a heck of a series. Television ratings will skyrocket. Having two of the game’s best young stars in the Finals will make people excited about the NBA again. I know I will be in front the television screen every time these teams square off for the NBA finals!