LeBron James will finally make his return to South Beach on Christmas day. He should be greeted with cheers and appreciation for what he did for the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade said, “It’s going to be a mixture…The man helped take us to places we’ve only been once before he got here.”
LeBron left the Miami Heat in July with a simple letter saying he was going back home. Many of us expected him to return to Cleveland someday. His time in Miami was epic. No it wasn’t four, five, six or seven championships but it was an exciting brand of basketball and four straight trips to the NBA Finals.
They were the first team in 30 years to make four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. In the process LeBron and the Heat had a meltdown against Dallas, and then won back-to-back titles before being dismantled by the Spurs last season. Overall I would say LeBron’s time in Miami was a success.
In their first season together James and Wade had trouble playing together. They would take turns being the alpha dog and it led to a 9-8 start for the Heat. I thought they would lose to the Boston Celtics in the playoffs as they learned to play together but somehow the Heat found a way to the NBA Finals. In that series we all watched LeBron James play at his worst while Dwyane Wade rose to the occasion. The Heat still lost to the Mavericks in six games as the world wondered and questioned if LeBron James would ever win a title.
So with all the doubters LeBron James went back to his old self. No longer playing the villain role that the Heat embraced in their first season together, LeBron recaptured the MVP award while leading the Heat to a championship. The next season he did the exact same thing. The Miami Heat’s big 3 were not together for a long time but the things they accomplished were special and will never be forgotten.
This season is a little different for the two friends. LeBron is trying to lead a new group in Cleveland while Wade is showing the world that he can still play at a high level.
At the start of the season the Heat looked good as Wade and Bosh led the new group. Recently they have struggled to score points as they deal with injuries. Wade was sidelined with a hamstring injury and now Bosh is out with a calf injury. The Heat have dropped three of their last four. Wade is averaging 30 ppg over his last five games.
The Cavaliers looked terrible to start the season, starting 1-3. They have been up and down, dropping four in a row then winning eight in a row. Their defense is still a problem but they have the offensive fire power to put up big numbers. They come in on a three game winning streak.
I didn’t think the Heat would struggle this much and expected them to have a winning record going into this matchup.
Despite the records this game will be entertaining. Hopefully Bosh will make his return for the Heat so they will have some added firepower. Wade can still raise his game and will do everything to win against his former teammate.
LeBron will do the same on the other end. These two are still great friends off the court but that will not stop them from competing on the court. Hopefully it will be another great duel among friends.