Samson, it hurts me to say this, but in a word: Yes. I think this actually might be his year. It just comes down to math. If I think LeBron is savvy to win about three rings in his career (I’d put his over/under for three career rings if I had to put a number on it), then he’s gonna have to win one eventually and why not have it happen on the heels of a shortened season?
I still think this year is destined to have the Heat and Thunder clash in the finals, but I just think the Heat have too much firepower to lose a seven-game series. Now I know that’s what I said about last year’s finals between the Heat and Mavericks, but in all fairness it’s what a lot of people were saying. Between the old legs on the Mavs, the stigma that Dirk could never win a ring, and the Heat’s freakish athleticism, everything looked ready and poised for LeBron to snatch his first ring. But we all know what happened now and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see a whole new set of problems get in the way of Miami and their championship aspirations.
While Oklahoma City and Dallas are completely different teams and match up in different ways against the Heat, they can still ball with the best of them and run the fast-break almost as good as the potent 1-2 punch that is LeBron and D-Wade. Besides just Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder are also a team that thrive from the production of their role players, with Serge Ibaka defending down low and Perkins providing the interior strength needed to stand up to teams who like to play in the paint.
But that is, of course, all assuming the Heat make it to the finals in the first place. Chicago is no slouch in the east and there are some surprise teams like Atlanta that could also figure into the mix of surprise playoff teams when all is said and done. One thing I do know for a fact, however, is that no matter who wins it all this year it’s gonna be a tremendous playoff season to watch as the sun continues to set on one generation of players while it keeps shining brighter and brighter for the new crop of young talent.
But if I’m answering your question, Sam Gorena: LeBron James will win his first championship ring this year and people in Cleveland will have very complicated emotions about it.