The Miami Heat have joined some elite company. They are now 1 of 3 teams to have reached the NBA Finals four straight years. The last time it was done? About 30 years ago. You would think after all these regular season and playoff games, Miami would just be too gassed to make it this far. However, in the last four years, this might be the best playoff run Miami has had. They’re now looking for a third straight championship.
In the first round against Charlotte, it was a cakewalk for Miami. Charlotte did stay close in some games. But after Al Jefferson went down with an injury, Miami was able to get the clean sweep. They were starting to look like the Miami Heat that turns on that switch come playoff time. When the playoffs come around, Miami just takes it to a higher level.
In the second round against Brooklyn, the Heat were predicted by some to lose this series. But once again, LeBron and co. proved that the regular season means nothing come playoff time. After losing all 4 games to the Nets in the regular season, many thought Miami would be in for a tough series. It actually turned out to be a pretty easy series for them. They were able to get rid of the Nets in five games. Miami would now be headed to the Eastern Conference Finals against their rival, the Indiana Pacers.
Miami looked completely focused for Indiana, but at the same time, they didn’t know which Pacer team they would be facing. Indiana had a very weird playoff run. One game, you’d see the tough and gritty Pacers team. Next game, they’d have no one to go to on offense and Roy Hibbert would start to receive comparisons to Kwame Brown. In game 1, it looked like we’d be in for a long series, as Indiana blew out Miami. That would not be the case. Miami would then take the next three games, with two of them being blowouts.
Game 5 was an uncharacteristic game. LeBron James was in foul trouble, leading him to only play 24 minutes and only scoring 7 points. The best player in the world scores 7 points, and Indiana manages to only win by three. This just proved how superior Miami was to Indiana. And boy did they prove that in game 6. Miami had already been in the Finals by the time the first quarter was over. LeBron was aggressive from the start, constantly taking the ball to the hole, and getting in the head of Lance Stephenson of course. But we’ll save that for a different article. Miami has now taken Indiana out of the playoffs for three straight years. And it seems like this time was the easiest.
Many players have stepped up for Miami. Resting Dwyane Wade for 28 games during the regular season is really paying off. (SIA Profile) The rest was important for his chronic knee problems. When LeBron and D-Wade are both playing at their best, there is not a team in the league that can stop them. But let’s not forget about the third player in the big three, Chris Bosh. Bosh was a little MIA in the first and second round, but he showed up against Indy. Putting up 25+ in games 4 and 6, and we saw how much of a force Miami can be when the big 3 are on their A-Game.
The bench for the Heat has also been huge. We’re seeing the resurrection of Rashard Lewis, as he’s been knocking down 3’s and playing solid defense. Norris Cole and Chris Andersen always bring energy off the bench, which really gets Miami going. And of course, Ray Allen is just doing his thing.
Miami is ready for the Finals. They want a third straight championship, and these few days of rest will help them. As of right now, I don’t know if Oklahoma City or San Antonio can beat Miami in a 7 game series.
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