The Miami Heat’s Best Season: 2013

The Miami Heat, led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, were perhaps an incomplete success story. While they, along with Chris Bosh, promised “not one, not two, not three” championships in a bold press conference upon announcing the superteam, and while four NBA Finals appearances in as many years is impressive, fans perhaps expected more than two rings from the powerhouse roster. Overall, the Heat were very good, going 58-24 in 2011, 46-20 (a 57-25 pace in the shortened lockout season) in 2012, and 54-28 in 2014. But a 58-win peak isn’t exactly the stuff of NBA legend. None of …

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The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Best Season: 2016

Not too long ago, Seth Rosenthal and the team at Secret Base put together a fantastic three-part documentary series about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ road from expansion team to savior of the city, from the franchise’s early playoff runs in the 1970s to the dreadful Ted Stepien years to Mike Fratello’s slowest teams in NBA history to the second nadir in the early aughts—any time Ricky Davis was involved with an NBA team, no good came of it—and finally to the fruits of that futility, the number-one overall pick in the 2003 draft that netted them LeBron James. The rest, as …

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16 Games Without LeBron, What’s Up with the Lakers?

When LeBron James went down with an ankle injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the regular season as the Los Angeles Lakers save him for the playoffs, and with Anthony Davis still out and having not played since February 14, Lakers fans had every reason to panic despite standing at 28-13 at the time of LeBron’s injury. Since then, including the loss to the Atlanta Hawks that was the end result of the game in which LeBron got hurt, the Lakers are 7-9, having played .500 ball over their last 10 games in which every loss …

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Time to Freak Out, Lakers Fans

When the Los Angeles Lakers lost Anthony Davis to an injury earlier this season, there was no cause to panic. They could bring him back fairly slowly, saving his health for the playoffs, because as long as they had LeBron James and a healthy Dennis Schroder, there was enough firepower to tread water in a crowded Western Conference. But now, with LeBron out for the next 3-5 weeks with an ankle injury and questions swirling about the 36-year-old’s durability in his 18th year in the league? Questions largely complicated by the fact of LeBron’s odometer showing 1,566 regular-season and playoff …

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The Greatest Dynasties in NBA History

In celebration of their new sponsorship deal with the NBA, Mondelez International, makers of delicious junk food, decided to launch a line of Oreo cookies celebrating the NBA’s great dynasties. Featured on the cookies will be the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls, the Golden State Warriors, and…the Miami Heat. Excuse me, what? A Miami team that won just two titles in four years while being broadly regarded as responsible for the only two of LeBron James‘ six Finals losses that could be legitimately said to tarnish the legacy of a guy who otherwise has a claim …

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Examining the Lakers Without Anthony Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves without the services of their second and, arguably, third-best players in Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder during a stretch in which they lost four in a row and five out of six games to drop from 21-6 and nipping at the heels of the red-hot Utah Jazz (who are an astonishing 27-7 and look every bit like a Finals team) to 22-11 and at risk of falling below the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers to drop all the way into fourth place and a second-round matchup with that Jazz team. The moral of …

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LeBron James’ Amazing Playoff Statistical Legacy

In March of 2019, I took a look at LeBron James‘ amazing career statistically. I talked about the Grand Triple-Double (10,000 each of points, assists, and rebounds; based on his career averages, LeBron will reach that mark sometime during the 2021-22 season if he stays healthy.) I talked about his chances of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list—he has 4,147 points to go to get to 38,388, and at his career scoring rate of 27.1 points per game, he’ll do that in two seasons, maybe early in a third if the NBA truncates the 2020-21 season to 60 …

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Is Zion Williamson Already Better Than LeBron James?

Tuesday morning, an interesting question came over the wire on Twitter. Who is the BEST FORWARD currently in the NBA that Zion will instantly be better than once he gets drafted. — Justin Grant (@ThePackageJG) May 14, 2019 “Who’s the best forward that Zion Williamson will already be better than when he gets drafted?” And I thought about it for a minute. Because Zion is, of course, so obvious a lock for Rookie of the Year that they might as well just engrave the trophy now and hope he doesn’t blow out his ACL like Blake Griffin. And then I …

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Frank Vogel and Jason Kidd to Coach the LOLakers

Women with children across Laker Hater Nation got a great Mother’s Day gift from the NBA’s most verklempt franchise—move over Knicks, at least you guys have a fighting chance at getting Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on your team. Frank Vogel is reportedly going to be the new head coach of the purple-and-gold Dumpster fire in Tinseltown, and Jason Kidd is going to be one of his assistants. This is the same Frank Vogel who got himself run out of Indiana for failing to adopt anything remotely resembling modern offensive principles—even Nate McMillan looks like Mike Budenholzer compared to him—and …

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LeBron’s Legacy by the Numbers

The legacy of LeBron James is bookended by NBA history, trying to be better than the greats of the past while setting a standard that will withstand the challenge of the greats of the future. The legacy of LeBron is also bookended alphabetically, by the letter K on one end—Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Karl Malone—and by the letter M on the other, in the person of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Kareem, Karl, and Kobe are the three guys left in the way of LeBron setting the career record for scoring. Magic is the gold standard for versatility, his …

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