I promised myself I wouldn’t make the same mistake as last year. I was not going to miss the Miami Heat parade again.
Now THAT was the Miami Heat that won 27 consecutive games.
It wasn’t the dominating team that so many people replace with the team that won 27 straight. They tend to forget that many of the wins during that streak came by way of the Heat getting pushed to the brink of disaster (whether it was their one-point win over the Orlando Magic or the 27-point comeback against Cleveland) and somehow miraculously pulling out a win.
The Heat last night, turning a 94-89 deficit with 28 seconds remaining into a game that would be sent into overtime, were everything like that team. Heart-stopping, sweat and tear-inducing basketball that ends up turning a sure Heat loss into one of the most improbable victories you’ll ever end up seeing.
A physically-beaten Dwyane Wade enters the lockerroom, sits near LeBron James, scans and notices the rest of his comrades are as dejected as he is.
If I told Gregg Popovich that Tony Parker would have a game-winner, two 20-point games from Tim Duncan, unconscious shooting performances from Danny Green and Gary Neal for three consecutive games, and not one member of the Miami Heat’s ‘Big Three’ would score 20 points until Game 4, it’s safe to say that the permanent scowl etched on his face would still be there and he’d probably tell me to get off his lawn.
But he would be satisfied with it, deep down in the black crevices of his once beating heart.
But would he be satisfied with all of those circumstances working in San Antonio’s favor if it only meant a tied series through four games? Would he be pleased with a 2-2 result knowing that his Spurs have shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc in three consecutive games?
Save your manufactured panic for another time. Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are not going to take the continual calls of criticism and go down without swinging at a seemingly mechanically-perfect San Antonio Spurs team.
For the weekend, the Heat can sleep easier after the latest victory by way of a blowout, this time a 109-93 win in front of a stunned AT&T Center. It follows San Antonio’s 36-point win in Game 3, and features a 55-point swing in between games.
Three games of mediocre and subpar play amongst the members of the ‘Big Three’ came to a stop in Game 4. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 85 points on only 64 field-goal attempts, nearly outscoring the entire Spurs team.
We’re not doing this again, are we?
Can’t be. They just can’t be. It can’t be a repeat of 2011. We were supposed to be past that. The demons were supposed to have been exercised last year when LeBron James averaged 28 points and dropped a solid triple-double in the championship-clincher.
But here we are again. The Miami Heat struggling in the NBA Finals, and no player struggling more with their game than LeBron James, who has not been a stranger to faltering at this stage of the game.