Miami Blaze Way to Finals
By defeating the Bulls last night, the Heat have given the Miami fans a reason to exult and yet have given the frequent splenetic and often abrasive NBA fans and critiques a reason to keep detesting the Big Three…the current Eastern Conference Champions. Beginning on the day he chose to ‘Take His Talents to South Beach’ in early July, Lebron James and the Miami team have been faced with many obstacles and have had to deal with just about every NBA analyst and sports writer picking at what they thought was the Heat’s weakness. In the playoffs and better yet in this recent series against Chicago, it seemed as if the Heat addressed each topic they were previously scolded for, each of these topics proving to be ineffective as Miami advances to the NBA Finals.
All season long stats were shown of Miami’s shooting percentage within the final minutes …recently those stats are nowhere to be found. If we want to talk about poor execution when it really matters, can we talk about MVP derrick Rose, who’s missed three throw with 26 seconds left last night was almost as detrimental to his team as the one he missed in the 2008 Final Four for the win. I’m not sure if you agree, but I consider an 18-3 scoring run late in the fourth quarter to eliminate a 12 point deficit and wipe out a team’s momentum coming up big in the clutch.
Even when statistics pointed to Miami’s bench as the least producing in the league, I wasn’t concerned. These playoffs have shown that not only can Chalmers, Miller, and Haslem bring life to the team; but these ‘Little Three’ can certainly carry their own weight when the ‘Big Three’ aren’t in. Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem each scored double digits in separate games, and Mario Chalmer’s defense during the playoffs has been able to slow down opposing point guards Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo, two of the league’s quickest and most deadly. Mike Miller, who was signed from Washington, has arguable received the most negative attention this year. Breaking both thumbs and sustaining a wrist injury, Miller has been called out repeatedly for his inability to score. Miller, a known three point sharpshooter went off this series, scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds off the bench in the final two games of the series.
There isn’t a question that forward Chris Bosh has been considered the ‘odd-man-out’ amongst the Big Three, but that doesn’t say much because as shown in these Playoffs, the Lebron/D-Wade bond is perennial at least. Despite dropping just 10 points in Game 2, Bosh has proved the critiques wrong. He has scored more than 30 in two of the series’ five games and has been a source of energy down the stretch, thus erasing all ‘Bosh doesn’t fit in’ concerns.
Lastly, the Miami has been questioned about the team’s chemistry more than anything. Starting on an October 26 loss against rival Boston, the Heat’s ability to play as a team has been mocked. Recently; however, Miami and its 8 man rotation has been quite keen. The ball movement has vastly improved and the players both on and off the court seem more like a family. Oh, and the early-season concerns for Coach Eric Spoelstra have stopped. No more analysts debate whether he will stay or go… after defeating the NBA coach of the year in Tom Thibodeau, Spoelstra’s future in Miami looks bright
Although the fans are happy in the 305, the team is not content. When the team was formed they set a goal, and the goal has not yet been achieved. Lebron James said after the game, “There’s no sense of relief right now, we’ve still got work to do. We’ll look at this moment tonight; have a little bit of time tomorrow to go over this moment, what we just accomplished. But we get ready for Dallas very soon. We don’t take for granted this win and take for granted being Eastern Conference champions.” Heading into the NBA Finals for the first time since the franchise won it all back in 2006, against the same opponent in the Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat seem more focused than ever.