I am sick & tired of hearing this crap on ESPN about LeBron being better than Michael Jordan. Thank you Scottie Pippen for giving me this massive headache. Scottie Pippen must be smoking that dope. How can he of all people disrespect the man that has brought you your own greatness and even consider LeBron to be better than MJ? First & foremost, Mike has 6 rings in 8 years. Did you read that right? 6 rings in 8 years. Call me when LeBron has 6 rings, then we will talk. Until then, lets watch what LeBron can do with D-Wade and see how many championships they can win. LeBron is not the leader MJ was, he is not the scorer MJ was & he is not the winner MJ was. End of discussion. Another thing. Kobe has 5 rings and has been to the Finals 7 times. Magic Johnson has 5 rings and has been to the Finals 9 times. Larry Bird has 3 rings and has been to the Finals 5 times. Do you get where I'm going with this? These players all have multiple rings, Finals appearances & not to mention multiple Finals MVPs. I am a firm believer in rewarding winners. LeBron has a long way to go. Even D-Wade has put on an historic Finals performance which resulted in a ring & a Finals MVP trophy. So before we go crazy and put LeBron in the class of the best players ever to play this game, let the man build his legacy up a little bit. He couldn't even win a ring against that Dirk-led team from Dallas.
The John Starks dunk was supposed to signal the end of the Bulls 1st 3-peat run. The Knicks went on to win game 2 of the ECF to take 2-0 lead in the series. The Bulls led by the G.O.A.T Michael Jordan, would sweep the last 4 games of the series only to advance to the Finals to face Charles Barkley's Phoenix Suns. The Bulls won the Finals and completed the 3-peat 4 games to 2. My lasting memory when I seen the dunk happen was that I ordered my first "Big Foot" pizza from Pizza Hut. 21 square slices of deliciousness.
Scott Brooks benched Russell Wesbrook for the 4th quarter and it paid off. The Thunder stole home court advantage from the Mavericks, by winning game 2 of the West Finals. James Harden was money down the stretch hitting big 3 after big 3 halting any chance Dallas making a run to seize game 2. Nick Collison played his heart out with a huge effort defensively in the 4th quarter.
The Thunder did a better job on Dirk
The "White Mamba", as Sir Charles likes to call him, finally missed his first foul shot inside the last minute of the game which if he would have connected would have made it a 1 possession game. OKC did what they needed to do by getting the split in Dallas. The ultimate game changing play of the game was the posterization of back-up center Brandon Haywood by Kevin Durant in the second quarter. From there, OKC erased an 11 point deficit & went on lead at the half 59-57 and eventually win the game.
Jordan over Ewing could have easily been number 1, but the Pippen dunk over Ewing had more hatred involved. The Bulls were starting their first 3-peat run at the time of Jordan's dunk, but the Pippen dunk was 3 years later when the Knicks were ready to take the East crown with Jordan out of the picture for the Bulls after losing to the Bulls year after year in the playoffs during the Bulls rise to power.
If LeBron is going to continue to close out games down the stretch the way he closed out the Celtics & how he closed out the Bulls last night, then Miami might be the next title holders of the NBA. We know D-Wade can do it, but with LeBron acting all clutch all of a sudden, Miami will be impossible to beat in a 1 or 2 possession game in the last 3 to 4 minutes of an important game. LeBron scored 9 of Miami's last 12 points including a big-time 3 when the score was nodded at 73 to break the tie for good. Miami outscored Chicago 12-3 down stretch.
Udonis Haslem was a huge spark off the bench. He scored 13 points, but more importantly he gave Miami some much needed energy & toughness. He energized the team with his rim-rattling dunks & his physical play around the glass gave Miami a plus 4 advantage on the boards.
Derrick Rose had another "Iverson-like" performance going 7-23 from the field and with the Bulls shooting 34% from the field for the game, Chicago didn't just lose the game, they lost control of the series.
*Did you know that Game 1 of the East Finals between the Heat & Bulls was the most watched basketball game in cable televison history?
The best in-game dunk ever. So much hatred involved. Scottie Pippen dunks on hated rival Patrick Ewing, then pushes him to the ground and walks right over him. Plus to top everything off, Scottie let Spike Lee that he can get some, too... Just enjoy it.
For Oklahoma City, Dirk is a huge problem. Dropping 48 in game 1 while hitting 24 of 24 free throws is a huge indicator that OKC has to stop everyone else. Dirk will get his, so instead of focusing their defense on containing Dirk, the Thunder must lock-down on the shooters. I mean it's easy for me to say, but if they can pull that off, then it would put more pressure on Dirk to score on every possession. Yeah Dirk would have 1 on 1 situations, but if you play the law of averages then Dirk can't score on every possession, right?
Should KD take Dirk head on?
On the other side of the ball, Russell Wesbrook was held on check, forcing Kevin Durant to drop 40 just to keep his team in the game. Wesbrook was 3-15 from the field against a Dallas "D" that was focused to make every shot attempt difficult for the young point guard. Instead of trying to stop the leagues leading scorer, Kevin Durant, Dallas allowed Durant to try to beat them by himself. KD can drop 40 anytime he wants, but if he can't get efficient performances from Wesbrook & 6th man James Harden, the Western Conference Finals will end very quickly.
Miami took down the big, bad Celtics in 5 games which was then followed by a championship winning-like celebration just without the black, red & orange confetti. Now the Celtics was the reigning Eastern Conference Champions, but a championship was not won that day. Now Chicago, who seemed to struggle some against the Pacers & Hawks, blew Miami out by doing what they do best... Playing defense. At halftime, both teams were nodded at 48, but Chicago went on a 10-0 run midway through the 3rd quarter that energized the United Center and was the beginning to the end of the Heat chances to steal game 1. Chris Bosh had a great game with 30 points & 9 boards, but only getting a combined 33 points from Wade & LeBron is not going to win them any games this series. Chicago plays championship defense, so the series will be dictated by how Wade & LeBron will take advantage of the Bulls aggressive play on on defense. Game 1 was a failure, but Miami's job was to get the split and I feel they are more than capable to pull it out. Luol Deng & MVP Derrick Rose out-scored the Wade & LeBron tandom 49 to 33. Expect those numbers to be much closer in game 2.