3. 2012-2013 Miami Heat
LeBron and this Heat team staved off elimination twice to win the NBA title.
And if James didn’t have Ray Allen, this team is probably further down the list…but he did, as Allen’s last-second, Game 6 shot forced a Game 7 and helped LeBron win his second championship.
James averaged 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists and earned his second straight Finals MVP honor. In Game 7, a 95-88 victory in Miami, he scored 37 points.
Wade played at a very high level in this series, averaging 19.6 points per game, while Chris Bosh delivered almost 12 points and nine boards per contest.
Allen shot 55 percent from beyond the arc, while averaging 10.6 points per game. This game vindicated his decision to leave the Boston Celtics.
4. 2010-2011 Miami Heat
Miami’s “Big 3” of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were the season-long favorites to win the NBA title–but then surprisingly came up short to the Dallas Mavericks, despite having a 2-1 series lead.
This was James’ first taste of the Finals since appearing in the 2007 Finals as a 22-year-old–and his play was forgettable.
He averaged just 17.8 points–his lowest number in the Finals. In Game 4, LeBron scored just eight points–a surprisingly low number that had many bloviators in the media questioning whether he would ever win an NBA title.
The critics were extra harsh on James because he had the supporting cast around him–and he didn’t deliver. This was supposed to be the reason he left Cleveland, yet it was James who couldn’t deliver.
Dwyane Wade averaged 26.8 points per game, while Chris Bosh averaged 18.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest. Think about that for a moment. Bosh averaged more than LeBron.
Ultimately, this failed campaign can be looked at as the breeding ground for the Heat’s run through the NBA over next three years, which resulted in three more Finals appearances and two titles.
At times, this team looked uncomfortable playing with each other, but the experience Miami endured helped turn them into champions later on.
“It was a failure in ‘07 when we lost to the Spurs when I was in Cleveland,” James said in defeat. “It’s a failure now.”
Next: 2013-2014 Miami Heat