Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Feeling The Heat

After watching last night's game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, Shank reflexively thinks of earlier times, like his favorite decade, the 1970's:
When it’s about NBA history, it always goes back to the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, and . . . Wilt Chamberlain.

The Miami Heat Monday night won their 23d consecutive game, recovering from a 13-point deficit in the final eight minutes in a spectacular 105-103 showcase triumph on the parquet floor. This was blood-and-thunder basketball for the full 48, easily the most entertaining game of the Causeway season. Subbing for Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green lit up the New Garden for 43 points, but it was not enough to keep the Heat from extending their winning streak.

Miami now trails only the 1971-72 Lakers, who won 33 in a row. Those Lakers had a center named Chamberlain. The Heat have the latter-day Wilt and his name is King LeBron James.
After a few paragraphs of discussing the actual game, Shank then proceeds to 1) piss off Celtics fans and 2) show an interesting interpretation of great NBA players:
Nobody around here likes to admit it, but Wilt was the greatest player in NBA history (sorry, ESPN, we know you kind of like Michael Jordan). We all know that Bill Russell was the greatest winner, but Wilt retired with all the individual records. He averaged 50 points a game in a season. Rules were changed to limit Chamberlain’s dominance. He was 7 feet 1 inch of muscle and athleticism.

LeBron reminds me of Wilt. Maybe it’s the headband. Maybe it’s the muscular frame. Maybe it’s the delight we take in seeing LeBron­ lose. That’s the way it was watching Wilt.
We know Wilt liked to score, but wasn't the knock on Wilt that he couldn't win the big games, and Russell could? Give me Russell or Jordan over Wilt any day, or when Game 7 of a playoff series is on the line.

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