I can safely say that LeBron James will make all his critics eat their words big-time as the season heads for the final basket.
While the Heat are undoubtedly off to shaky start (9-8 at the time of writing) I have to come to realize that James is a slow starter and a strong finisher.
Here are five reasons why I believe James will bounce back:
Personal victories precede public victories
I swear this guy never stops training. I have watched him study teammates, opposing players and suck every iota of basketball knowledge out of coaches and other sages of the game. His internal desire to win will transform the Heat well before the play-offs.
James is at his best when challenged by opposing teams, but especially when confronted with talented team members on the court. Wade is a superstar, no doubt about it, but watch James rise to the challenge as he integrates Wade’s attacking style with his own interminable desire to win.
Here comes the sun
Miami sunshine is a two-edged sword: Its searing heat can turn muscles into jelly and push legends of the game closer to the cooler attractions of South Beach. Yet, it can also invigorate and resuscitate a body conditioned to the colder climate of Cleveland where training is more rigid and square. I believe James has been integrating new outdoor training techniques into his regimen, which require only a few more games to pay dividends.
The shadow of Magic
Riley must miss the playmaker abilities of Magic Johnson. With James in the team he has a different animal, a supernatural counterpart to the dazzling speed of Wade. I predict that Riley has been carefully studying this interaction while playing back in his mind previous memories of Johnson. Expect to see Riley use his experience to make these two a perfect composite springboard for future Heat victories.
Return of the once-favorite son
On Thursday night James will return to Cleveland to battle the Cavaliers. Throughout history there has been no better forum to bring a team together than in a venue where they are hated and slated to lose. For this reason alone, expect to see the rebirth of James. The Cleveland face-off will mark the dual turning point in both James and the Heat’s fortunes.
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