Saturday, June 23, 2012
June 7th, 2012, The sporting world had already crowned the Oklahoma City Thunder the team to beat in the NBA. After going down 0-2 against the veteran San Antonio Spurs, the Thunder rattled off four straight wins against the coaching Legend Greg Popovich and his dwindling dynasty. Concurrently, the Miami Heat and Lebron James were dealing with the pressures of heading back to Boston for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals being down 2-3. With his back against the wall Lebron James left not only the Boston Celtics and their fans, but the entire basketball world in awe by exceeding the unfair expectations placed on him by dropping 45 points (19/26 from the field, 2/4 from three), grabbing 15 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists. Leaving no doubt in peoples minds that the series was over heading back to Miami for Game 7. Skipping forward to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, watching their 13 point lead slip away in route to their Game 1 loss, the Heat knew they let one get away, one they could not afford to lose. In Game 2 something changed though almost as if the Heat finally understood just how imposing their big three could be and had to be, the Heat came out playing attack basketball on the offensive and defensive side of the ball and went up 18-2 before the Thunder even knew what happened. The Thunder made a push and the rest of the game was closer but the Heat closed the game out serving the Thunder their first home loss of this post season. The rest of the NBA Finals brought us great games that ultimately ended with three straight home wins, which granted were all close games (except Game 5). The experience and determination of the big three for Miami brought out the best of their role players and for the first time since the 2010-2011 season, the Heat showed just how dominant they can be. The "HEAT" is on now, the rest of the NBA now has a daunting realization in front of them, the Miami Heat now understand how to play and what it takes to win a championship and they have no intentions of slowing down moving into next season. With the health of Derrick Rose in question and the free agency issues the Boston Celtics are dealing with there is little resistance for the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference and are basically a preseason lock for their third straight NBA Finals Appearance.