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LeBron James Notches a Triple Double, Heat Still Lose?

Youth vs. Experience

Youth vs. Experience

What’s going on with the Miami Heat?

Anyone who says they have some issues is going to be accused of overrating or hating on LeBron James. Anyone who says they don’t obviously hasn’t been paying attention during the playoffs to this point.

Sure they cruised by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, sweeping them in four games. The closest margin of victory was 11 points, the largest was just under 25. That was entirely expected though, much of what’s happened for the Heat since has been more complicated.

In the Conference Semifinals they defeated the Chicago Bulls in five games. On the surface the series wasn’t even close, but dig a little deeper and a pattern begins to emerge. You don’t even have to dig that deep—just looking at the scores tells the tale.

Game 1: Bulls win on the Heat’s home court 93-86.

Game 2: Heat absolutely destroy the Bulls, winning 115-78. Nearly 40 points.

Game 3: Miami takes the first game in Chicago 104-94.

Game 4: They do the same thing in the next one winning 88-65, but add 13 points to their margin of victory.

Game 5: Back in Miami the Bulls put up a fight, but fall to the Heat 94-91.

Confident or cocky?

Confident or cocky?

The story here is that the Heat seem only to show up whenever they feel like it. When they’re in the mood to play, they’ll impose their will and dominate in an embarrassing fashion. When they’re not in the mood to play, anything can happen.

That’s exactly what we saw in their series against the Indianapolis Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. A couple of the games were hard-fought battles that came down to the wire, but the Pacers beat the Heat by pretty healthy margins in two of those seven games.

Clearly LeBron and company came to play in Game 7 though, considering they beat the Pacers easily by 23 points. Although, they only needed to do that because they lost Game 6 by 14 points. That’s been the story of these playoffs for the Heat.

Win big. Lose bigger. Win biggest.

Until this point it has appeared that the Heat have been planning their playoff wins around the number of crazy outfits Dwyane Wade had preselected before the postseason even began. After Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, you have to wonder if Miami still controls their fate in the same way they clearly once believed they did.

Yes, the game came down to the final seconds and the Spurs only won by four points—92-88. If one or two shots break in another direction the Heat could’ve won. Then again, in a different scenario the Spurs could’ve won by more. And yes, King James notched a triple-double.

The difference in this game was that he and his Heat were hellbent on winning this game, yet they did not. They’ve been toying with their opponents throughout the playoffs, but they have finally come up against a Spurs team that will not be toyed with.

Older or wiser? Or both?

Older or wiser?
Or both?

San Antonio may be older than Miami overall, but the number of championships they have between them as a team dwarves that of the Heat.

Maybe 37-year-old Tim Duncan won’t be able to sustain the same pace throughout the series. Maybe 31-year-old Tony Parker stop playing like a man possessed.

Maybe. Maybe not.

There are a lot of questions yet to be answered and that’s what makes the 2013 Finals all the more fascinating.

Will the Heat’s tendency to take nights off ultimately cost them?

Will the Spurs’ age and experience be enough to overcome LeBron *%$#&!* James?

Who knows.

One thing we do know is that this series looks like it may get very interesting before all is said and done. And what once looked like a certain repeat for the Heat is now a serious competition.


Or the Heat will win Game 2 by 50 points.

Either way, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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