Remember when people were saying that Lebron James was afraid to shoot in the fourth quarter? Those days are long, long over. We got a small taste of Lebron in a game with the Nets last month when he single-handedly won the game for Miami. Tonight, he showed that he wants to step up in the fourth quarter on a much bigger stage: Madison Square Garden. After coming out of the game early in the third with 4 fouls, Lebron came out shooting in the fourth quarter. He took 3’s, got and-1’s, and everything in between. He turned a 2-point Miami lead at the end of the third into a 17-point blow out.
Miami has won all three games in their series against the Knicks by double-digits, and tonight seemed to be the only night when the Knicks had a chance. I really don’t like the Knicks, but to be honest, they seemed like the second best team in the eastern conference after Derrick Rose was ruled out for the playoffs. Think about it: the other teams in the eastern conference playoffs are Chicago, Indiana, Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, and Philadelphia. I believe that the Knicks are better than all of those teams this season, mostly because of injuries. Since Mike Woodson took over the team, the Knicks went 18-6 to finish the regular season. Chicago doesn’t have Rose, nobody’s afraid of Indiana, Josh Smith may be injured and Atlanta never wins playoff games, Boston doesn’t have Ray Allen and is very, very old, Orlando is without Dwight Howard, and Philadelphia collapsed at the end of the season. Even though the Knicks are without Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin, I think they are at least as scary as any of those other teams.
After Game 2 of the Knicks-Heat series, I made this prediction, but now I am confident enough in it to write it down: the Miami Heat will not lose a game until the NBA finals. I think they are far too focused and talented to even lose a single game to any of the teams in the east. If they were to lose a series before the finals, I would be absolutely shocked. If they don’t win the NBA championship, I will also be surprised, although I don’t think they will sweep in the finals.
Do you think any other team has a chance to come out of the east? Which team?