NBA Finals 2015 – Best Players Ranking

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Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers are the last 4 teams in the NBA Conference Finals, fighting for their respective title and also for two of the tickets to the NBA Championship 2015 final game. Here, we list the top 3 NBA players in the entire league. Continue reading

James Can Learn From Nowitzki’s Lessons

 Dirk Nowitzki had just turned 28 — oLebron Jamesr one and a half years older than LeBron James is now — when the Dallas Mavericks lost the 2006 N.B.A. finals to Dwyane Wade and a Miami team they couldn’t put away after leading by 2 games and 13 points with six minutes left in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

And so it was that the Mavericks wound up losing four straight, three games by a total of 6 points, with Nowitzki missing a game-tying free throw with 3.4 seconds in one, punting the ball into the stands after another and later being called out by Wade as a poor leader and finisher and something of a whiner.

Forget for the moment that Wade would not have bared such feelings about another team’s star if that player had not been viewed as somehow less authentic, a European wannabe. The criticism wasn’t without merit. It took five long years for Nowitzki to return to the stage of his failures, to prove that he had heard the criticism and taken it to heart.

In leading the Mavericks to their first title in Miami on Sunday night, claiming the finals’ most valuable player trophy after the 105-95 closeout in Game 6, Nowitzki was a more versatile player, a more confident closer and a much better leader. Continue reading

Heat Gains Finals as Stars Rally LateMiami Heat v Chicago Bulls

There are perhaps a thousand ways to seize a conference title, but none more emphatic, more authoritative or more vehement than the method LeBron James chose Thursday night to send tMiami Heat v Chicago Bullshe Miami Heat to the N.B.A. finals.

Derrick Rose elevated for a series-saving shot at the arc. James leaped with him, then swatted the ball and the Chicago Bulls into oblivion. The buzzer sounded on an 83-80 Miami victory, and James and his teammates began a subdued celebration, having claimed the Eastern Conference crown in five games.

“There’s no sense of relief right now,” James said. “We still got work to do.”

The Heat will battle the Dallas Mavericks in the finals, in a rematch of the 2006 series, which Miami won. The series begins Tuesday in Miami.

For a team that for months seemed incapable of closing games, the Heat now stands as a collection of experts. James punished the Bulls in one fourth quarter after another for the final four games of the series, all of them Heat victories. In the finale, James and Dwyane Wade alternated big shots and suffocating stops as they crushed the Bulls’ spirit and ruthlessly erased a 12-point deficit in the final 3 minutes 2 seconds.

For the fourth straight game, the young Bulls were incapable of matching the Heat’s steadiness down the stretch, or its awesome star power. Continue reading

LeBron James’s Decision Is Looking Better

LeBron James When LeBron James, 6 feet 8 inches and 250 pounds of pure power, changes directions at full speed, skips and elevates for a dunk, the observer sees only charisma and grace, not arrogance or duplicity. When James soars and snags Dwyane Wade’s 24-foot bullet pass and throws it down in one motion, we see only artistry, not treachery.

In the moment, in a single playoff snapshot, James is at long last an entertainer again — a fabulously skilled basketball savant — rather than a symbol of modern moral decline, if he really ever was.

It may be years before the public forgets the self-indulgent spectacle of James’s 2010 free-agent tour or the cold-hearted audacity of “The Decision.” Cleveland may never forgive his betrayal.

But as the playoffs unfold, and the Miami Heat pushes ever closer to the N.B.A. finals, James is building a bold case that his decision (with a lower-case “d”) was the correct one.

Miami has a 2-0 lead over Boston, James’s personal playoff nemesis. When he was a solitary star in Cleveland, the Celtics wrecked his title hopes twice in three years. Now James is doing the wrecking, averaging 28.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the series while shooting 50 percent from the field. Continue reading