Heat Live to Fight Another Day
Can anyone remember a more frantic, more nerve wracking ending to an NBA Finals game than what happened in the last 5 minutes and eventually overtime in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals? The back and forth, the clutch shots, the blocks, the headband. I mean we watched a soap opera unfold at the end of the game with all the dramatic twists and turns. All that was missing was people sleeping with each others spouses but I guess that is what Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop is for right? The important thing out of all that is that the Heat lived to play another game. More importantly, they have one last chance to win the championship.
If you’re a Heat fan and I’m not talking about those “fans” who were pouring out of the arena thinking the Heat already lost, you’re going to your doctor today to get your prescription for your blood pressure. Spurs fans are on the shrink’s couch right now asking, “Why? and I’m not sure where it all went wrong.” This series has been more memorable than most predicted and the up and down play from both teams would drive any of their fans crazy.
Back to those “Heat fans” who left early because they thought defeat was imminent and they wanted to beat the traffic home. Did you not understand that anything is possible in the NBA Finals? Hell ABC has only been playing KG shouting it out with every NBA Finals montage it shows. What real fan leaves before the final whistle? If the Heat were down by 15, I get it but that wasn’t the case. They fought back, lost the lead and took the game into overtime all the while you were saying, “There is always next year” as you strolled out of the AAA arena. This is what irks me about Miami fans of any sport in general. They stroll in fashionably late while wearing the latest fashions and leave before it’s truly over. Not to mention they only go to games when going to a game is the in thing to do because a team is winning, but back to the game.
The Heat earned the right to play in Game 7 with some clutch shooting and key blocks in the finals seconds of regulation and in overtime, but the question most won’t ask because the Heat won was where was this Heat team for the first 3 quarters? Why did it take the 4th quarter for them to show up and play? They played right into their Jeckyll and Hide personas, as they have for much of the past two series.
Why did it take a missing headband to get Lebron James to play like the best player in the league? Something to note is that when James becomes an unstoppable beast, DWade is on the bench, as he was in the 4th quarter while Lebron left his mark on the game. One thing to look for in Game 7 is fatigue with James. Sure he is human specimen like no other in the league right now, but he played 50 minutes in a physical Game 6 and has logged an obscene amount of minutes this season and post season.
In all honesty Chalmers should be given a lot of the credit for the win last night. His timely 3’s squashed runs the Spurs were about to go on. The real hero though was Ray Allen. He lives for those shots. That is why he is out there hours before a game putting up shots for those exact situations. He’s been a Heat killer with the Celtics and now he helps the Heat move one step closer to another championship. One also cannot overlook the 2 key blocks Bosh had in the final flurry that encompassed the finals seconds of overtime that secured the victory. I would though, hold off on saying Bosh had a great game, but he stepped up when it was needed and that was what mattered.
When will the NBA tell Joey Crawford to hang it up for good or just choke on his whistle in general? His crew is the worst, missing calls on both sides then arbitrarily making up calls. It’s frustrating when the officials, like Joey Crawford, interject themselves into the game. I’m just glad they won’t be officiating Game 7 because there is no bigger stage in the NBA than Game 7 in the NBA Finals and we all know how Joey Crawford loves to bask in the warm glow of the spotlight shining upon him. Can Steve Javey unretire and come back for one more cameo appearance. He can wear Jordan’s 45 number too. Think about how Jeff Van Gundy will go into a diatribe talking about the similarities in the rust that both Javey and Jordan shared when they first came back. It’s made for ratings and TV which makes the smirk on David Stern’s face grow ever so slightly as he wrings his hands together before bellowing out a cartoon villain’s evil laugh.
I cannot begin to think or try to understand the Spurs and their mindset right now. Seconds away from a championship and now playing a do or die game. Duncan gave his all last night and I think he gave everything he had left in Game 6. I can’t envision Duncan replicating his performance in Game 7. How does a team mentally prepare for another game with knowing they just let their best chance to win the title slip away?
One of the main things to watch for in Game 7 is fatigue, from either team. This has been a long and exhausting series and let’s face it everyone is tired. The real question is which Heat team shows up? Is Lebron going to be passive up until the last possible moment again? Will Lebron wear a headband? By the way how many Lebron headband Twitter accounts have been created since last night?
Game 7 defines legends and creates lasting legacies. Will Tim Duncan go 5 for 5 and cement his stature in the top 10 players all time? Will the Heat’s Big 3 win 2 out of 3 championships and be labelled a successful union? Duncan, Parker and Manu’s time for playing for a championship window is coming to a close just like the Heat’s Big 3 are, but for salary cap and luxury tax reasons and not old age. Teams these days have a small window for championships and both teams are seeing theirs shrink. The question is who goes home a hero and who goes home a goat?