Well the season has come to a close, with some players excelling and others shrinking on the biggest stage of all. The Miami Heat have beaten the Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 dazzling and heart-stopping games to become the World Champions. We witnessed the two best team and the two best players fight it out, until one rose up on top, victorious. This Finals series had it all. Dizzying highs and confidence-breaking lows kept us entertained and awe-struck throughout. But which players rose to the top when it counted and which players faded under the bright lights?
NBA Finals HeroesLeBron James [caption id="attachment_8265" align="alignright" width="212"] LeBron is finally the 'Good Guy', at least until next season![/caption] The most obvious choice on this list as he exorcised all his past demons and finally won the Championship he has always desired. The much maligned James, for his past fourth quarter effort, truly showed everyone that he is the best player in the world. There is no doubt about it now after he took home his first Championship Ring, his third League MVP, and the Finals MVP award.Played magnificently all series, with another flawless performance in Game 5, with his triple-double sowing up the series for the Heat. Will party hard tonight, but now that he has tasted the ultimate success, expect him to be rearing to go at the Olympics later this year in a search for another piece of glory. Shane Battier Even if you hate the Heat you have to be happy that this man has finally won himself a ring. The ultimate professional who will play any role that the coach gives him to the best of his ability. He is an amazing defender and showed these talents while defending the NBA's most deadly scorer in Durant for long periods of the Finals, while blanketing the much bigger Perkins at other stages. Add this to his amazing 3-point shooting, making 15 three's in the 5 games at an incredibly high percentage, and you can realise he played the series of his life. Well deserved I say. Mike Miller Might not deserve the status of a 'hero' as he did absolutely nothing until Game 5, yet that performance on it's own was spectacular. Stepped up at the perfect team and showed everyone why the Heat picked him up two seasons ago. Playing through immense pain all playoffs, Miller stepped up to hit 7 of 8 three-pointers in game 5 to finish with 23 points. A sixth man of the year, in what seems like centuries ago, it was beautiful watching Miller back at his best. Mario Chalmers Fought through a shooting-slump in Games 2 and 3 to step up in a big way in Game 4. Chalmers hit 25 points and won the game for Miami when James was forced off the court when struggling with cramps. Hit some clutch foul shots and made an incredible lay-up in the last minute to seal the game. Has been much-maligned during his time at Miami and is often called the weak-link of their starting line-up. But, yet again he has proved to all the critics that he is and always will be a big game player. Hopefully next year he can continue his good form in the regular season and become a force at the point guard position. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="180"] Durant has the skills to keep OKC competitive for years to come.[/caption] Nick Collison Doesn't ever throw up big numbers and will never be the highest scorer or best player on the court but his determination and effort is second to none. Numerous times when Oklahoma got off to terrible starts, Collison would come off the bench and turn the tide with his offensive rebounding and stifling defence. A true professional who will continue to give his all game-in game-out. Kevin Durant The superstar whose team didn't win doesn't normally make it onto the heroes list. But how can you not like Durant? His approach is modest and professional making him one of the most popular players in the league. He fought hard all series, showing why he is the best scorer in the league, but just couldn't will his team over the line.He will get another chance at glory and I won't be surprised if he has multiple rings and MVP trophies by the end of his career.
NBA Finals VillainsJames Harden [caption id="attachment_8266" align="alignright" width="200"] Harden almost completely disappeared during this finals series.[/caption] The sixth man of the year went missing in this series when his team needed him most. His three-point shooting was non-existent and even his foul shots weren't dropping. His inexperience was thrown into the lime-light during the Finals, so Thunder fans will be hoping he learns from this experience and thrives in the future because of it. I have no doubt the Thunder will be back in the Finals within the next few years and Harden will again play a major role in determining their fate. Russell Westbrook You may think it is a bit harsh having him on this list after he made 43 points in Game 4 and almost beat the Heat by himself. But I'm going to attack the part of his game that many people have pointed out before. Why is he shooting more then Durant? No offence Russell, but Durant is a better scorer than you. He's the best scorer in the league in fact. So let him have the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. Westbrook also made a major blunder at the end of Game 4 when he fouled Chalmers at the end of the match when he didn't need to. Ultimately giving the Heat the game. Keep your head up though Russell, you're an amazing talent that will continue to flourish in this league. Kendrick Perkins When your team is loosing it's easy to blame everybody else and this is exactly what Perkins did. After Games 3 and 4 Perkins was not afraid to share his thoughts about Thunder coach Scott Brook's rotations. Whether Perkins had a valid point or not doesn't matter. This was a rookie mistake made by an experienced campaigner that only drove more doubt into his teams mindset. Will need to behave next season if he wants to play decent minutes in this team. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200"] Ibaka will be looking to continue to improve next season.[/caption] Serge Ibaka Actually had a solid, yet not spectacular, series, with his blocking abilities being on show once more. My one beef with Ibaka during this series was when he told the media he didn't think LeBron James was a good defender. I don't know if he thought this would put James off his game or whether he actually believes it? Whatever the reason, it didn't help his team win.I am looking forward to watching him play in the Olympics though, as he apparently plays for Spain (who knew?). Derek Fisher The young Thunder desperately needed experience from 8-time Finals attendee and 5-time winner Fisher, yet he made a couple of mistakes at crucial times during this series. When Westbrook was rolling in Game 4, instead of passing to the man with the hot-hand Fisher drove to the rim and coughed the ball up. The Heat used this as a spark and never looked back, taking control of the series for good. Will be absolutely shattered with this loss, but I'm sure he can get over it in time when he goes home and realises he has won 5 more Championships then most players ever will. Udonis Haslem Although he is one of my favourite players and I think his leadership cannot be questioned, I can't help but feel a little disappointed in his influence in this series. I know he now has ring number two and could not care less about what I say but I hope to see him have a bigger influence in next years Finals.
What do you think? Fair or harsh? Let us know!