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NBA - A great NBA season comes to an end


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- As the Miami Heat celebrate the joy of winning their second straight title, I can’t help but reflect on how great this NBA season was and how I eagerly look forward to the next

There were high expectations entering this past season, with most teams loading up stars and role players in hopes of dislodging the defending champions Heat off their throne.

Big surprises came when the Los Angeles Lakers traded for All-Star center Dwight Howard and two-time MVP Steve Nash while The Oklahoma City Thunder shipped Sixth Man of the Year awardee James Harden to the Houston Rockets in a move many thought would not succeed.

Like never before, the NBA was watchable as ever because most of the teams had something to offer.

People tuned in when the Heat lit the league on a historic 27-game winning streak. There was a buzz every game because fans either wanted them to break the record or lose miserably. The streak came to an end when the Heat faced the Chicago Bulls in one of the best regular games in recent memory. Without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the short-handed Bulls upset the Heat and the Bulls went on to have a better season with Nate Robinson supplying countless highlights as they made everyone believe that defense and hard work can take you far in this league.
Injuries derailed superstars like Rajon Rondo, Kobe Bryant, and Russell Westbrook, but new , fresh faces emerged. Kyrie Irving proved to be one of the best point guards in the league. Damian Lillard pocketed Rookie of the Year honors. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers showed he can carry a team on his back and helped power the Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals. James Harden became a budding superstar with the Rockets while Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors displayed a sharpshooting prowess that put the Warriors back on the map.

The edge-of-your-seat highlights -- game winners and in-your-face dunks -- will keep both hardcore and casual fans coming back for more. Great playoffs showdowns were played and small market teams such as the Memphis Grizzles and Indiana Pacers loomed as teams to be reckoned with in the future.

The Finals provided us all the climactic drama we could ask for. Games went back and forth, momentum shifting from one team to another. In Game 7, both the Heat and the San Antonio Spurs proved they belong in basketball's biggest stage. They left it all on the court, hearts and all. And LeBron James validated his greatness as the King, and arguably the best player in the world today.

With the season over, we now look forward to the draft, free agency, the draft, and summer league. That said, the NBA will remain on people’s minds as future stars will be coming into the league and teams aim to upgrade their rosters to defeat the Heat. (KM)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Kelly Manalo.


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