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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Heat Wave (The Miami Heat’s Road to the 2013 NBA Finals)

1:47:39 PM | 6/20/2013 | Thursday

(Author’s note: The Miami Heat may emerged as the 2013 BA Champions if they will win the Game 7 on Thursday night in Miami, Florida (or Friday morning time at Manila, Philippines).

Miami Heat had come a long way to go before assembling big stars with talents and earned that bragging right to be labeled as one of the “champions” in the National Basketball Association. Yes, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was the second team to be branded as “the Big Three” in the league’s recent era. 2 years after the Boston Celtics’’ own version of triumvirate was made with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

This is actually the third straight appearance for them in the championship stage. Thanks to their free flowing offense, especially at the fast break, and also accompanied by their veteran shooters who can fire away either on the half court set or at the open court.

They already had Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier… plus, one of the all-time long distant strikers in the name of Ray Allen. They also had the Birdman Chris Andersen to cope up with their rebounding department, something that they have been lacking all season long. Come to think that LeBron James or even Joel Anthony can out-rebound their star power forward Chris Bosh.

But how the defending champs get back on the big dance once again? I think the last time we saw a defending champion to get back to the finals was the Los Angeles Lakers, and that was way back 2010 when they faced an epic rival by the name of the Boston Celtics.

LeBron’s squad was riding on their struggles on their early going part of the season, blamed it on their crashing-the-boards game. They were badly outrebounded whether they win games or lose them back-to-back. Plus injuries added some piece of insult to Wade. However, it did not affect much of their record down the stretch as they went on to win 27 straight games over the span of 2 months – with about half of them were comeback rallies from a bunch of double-digit deficit. And that will fall down as the second longest winning streak in the league’s history, just 6 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers at one point during the early 70s.

It was highlighted by their clash against the Boston Celtics, the team that defeated the previous second-longest-winning-streak-holder Houston Rockets. Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming’s crew were winning 22 games until the Cs halted them. But in the Heat’s case, they were unstoppable despite having more than 40 points from one of their Celtic players in Jeff Green. James nailed the long jumper that sealed the victory and the record, and it was then their 23rd straight victory. They were aiming to put the win number 28 on that run until they were stopped by the Chicago Bulls, the team that went on to become their playoff rival later on.

At the playoff bracket, the Heat was leading not just in the Eastern Conference, but on the entire league with a franchise record of 66 wins. For their first duel, it’s against the eight seeded Milwaukee Bucks. They swept their lowly opponent in four games. Next stop was the Chicago Bulls, which the Bulls have broke the Heat’s winning run at home dating back to the last year’s post season and even during this year’s regular and playoff wars (If I’m not mistaken). However, they managed to tame the bulls in the next four games, despite the physicality and trash talk between these teams on-court.

They arrived again at the Eastern Conference Finals in just winning 8 of their 9 games at the playoffs. And they almost lost Game 1 until the King made his game winning lay-up in the last 2.2 seconds. Since then, both the Heat and their rival Indiana Pacers were alternating wins, and even exchanged slurs. At the end, the Heat blew the Pacers away in the series decider.

They are facing the San Antonio Spurs at the big dance.

So, will the defending champs bow down to the Spurs, a team that snatched the crown away from the Detroit Pistons in 2005 (and even LeBron’s in 2007)? Or will the Miami Heat became the NBA Champion for the second straight time, something we saw on the Los Angeles Lakers a few years back?

Let’s see. This is one of the hell exciting matches to witness.

Author: slickmaster | © 2013 september twenty-eight productions

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