Dissenters and critics were in their caves for so long (since February 1st to be exact) that they had ample amount of time to descend upon the Miami Heat’s when the winning streak would come to its end.
Frankly, I expected better material.
Instead of speaking about the game itself, where the Chicago Bulls made an extremely uncharacteristic 61 points from outside of the paint in a game they scored 101 overall, the talk the day after is purely surrounding LeBron James’ comments regarding the officiating.
It wasn’t two weeks after the Miami Heat had won the 2012 NBA title did Team President Pat Riley lay out the offseason plans.
Riley made it known that he was going to be chasing free agents that summer. Although that may sound like the obvious thing to do, the Heat had made the mistake of keeping nearly the same roster that won the title back in 2006.
That team struggled greatly, winning only 44 games and getting swept in the first round. After a series of trades the following summer, the Heat wound up winning 15 games two years after winning their first NBA championship.
In yet another installment of masterpiece theater, the Miami Heat, namely LeBron James, gave their devoted fans, and bitter haters, another show as a part of what is now a 26-game-winning streak.
Playing without Dwyane Wade (knee), it was James leading the way in an easy 109-77 victory that was blown open with a furious run that lasted from the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.
Now this, was just cruel.
This was barbaric and downright despicable. It was so mystifying and bewildering of a plot that it deserved to be in a Michael Bay movie. Not since Bruce Wayne in “The Dark Knight” has a hero had such a tragic fall and made such a rigorous and straining return to the top.
LeBron James is the hero Cleveland needs, but not the one they deserve.
Things are starting to get serious.
With their 105-103 win over the Boston Celtics this past Monday, the Heat not only stretched their winning streak to 23 games, but survived one of the more difficult stretches of games that could have possibly halted the streak.
In the past week’s worth of road games, Miami survived a late deficit at Philadelphia, breezed through Milwaukee, ran off a huge run in the final minutes for a win at Toronto, and just recently pulled off that 17-point comeback, a season-best by Miami, against Boston.
The dam was bursting at the seams, yet never gave.
Not when Jeff Green finished with the game of his career. Not when the Boston Celtics hit ten three-pointers. Not even when they finished shooting 54 percent.
Even though the Celtics had amassed as much of a 17-point advantage, it still wasn’t enough to derail the Miami Heat for earning their 23rd consecutive victory via one of the greatest games this year in the NBA.
Cue the obligatory big Miami Heat built through the first two quarters.
Cue the obligatory Miami Heat collapse that results in an inferior opponent gaining momentum and either taking the lead or getting close.
Cue the obligatory Miami Heat staunch defensive effort in the final minutes that humbles professional basketball players to the point of consistently taking low-percentage shots.