I know that everyone has already moved on from Game 7 in Miami on Saturday night. No thanks to the NBA schedule, and the Heat not finishing off the Celtics in 5 or 6 games like many thought would happen. Media and sports host have already moved on to game 1 of the NBA Finals in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
But for a moment indulge me in my thoughts and pictures of game 7. It was my first game seven in the AAA (I was not here in 2005). The overall feeling I think a lot of Miami Heat fans had going into the game was confidence, with a side serving of nervous as hell. Questions were abound if Lebron could or would have to have a repeat performance like he did in the TD Garden in Boston (no). Would Dwyane Wade have a slow first half again? (yes). Would the role players step up at home? (yes). And would Chris Bosh be effective at all (hell yes!)
As they have done all season, the Miami Heat gave the fans, media and television audience a roller coaster ride. Falling behind in the 1st quarter. Being down double digits late in the 2nd, only to battle back within a few points by halftime. The offense at times looked stagnant. The players looked confused. Wade looked like the Dwyane Wade of the previous umpteen games in the first half…still being patient and waiting for the game to come to him. Lebron? Well after his 45, 15 and 5 performance in game 6, he looked human (that being 32, 11, and 7).
Fast forward to late 3rd quarter, it was like a tennis match. You score, I score. You turnover, I turnover. You defend, I defend. In the end, the Miami Heat prevailed. Call it the old legs of the Celtics or the masterful 4th quarter defense of the Heat, they prevailed.
Here’s how the Miami Heat faithful in the audience were feeling with about 6 minutes left in the 4th
And when it was all said and done, the ECF trophy for 2011-2012 remained with the Miami Heat
After the fanfare (or lack thereof) of the presentation, it was onto the podium. The first person was Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers. He is the personification of class and professionalism. I just wished some of his players were the same. He was emotional in defeat, knowing and thinking that this may be the last run his “Big 3″. He gave praise to the Heat and Erik Spoelstra and was gracious in defeat.
Speaking of class, Rajon Rondo shows none of that, on the court or off. It wasn’t until later that I found out that he (along with Kevin Garnett) left the court with about 11 seconds left and didn’t congratulate the Heat players after the game. And while he was at the podium, he gave one word answers and was very unfriendly.
Undoubtedly the player of the game, Chris Bosh came up big for the Miami Heat. Coming off the bench was something new for Bosh, but he was ready to do whatever the team needed. And in a strange sort of way, this may prove to be the Heat’s no so secret weapon against the Thunder in the Finals.
Finally Dwyane Wade and Lebron James address the media. It goes without saying that these guys along with Bosh will be key in a Heat victory.
For giggles, here’s a picture of the cart that is used to transport the players from locker room to media area. It’s a good thing these guys are close friends. And now we know why Bosh doesn’t do the podium at the same time as them. There’s no room on the ride!