Before we get started, let me state that this isn’t meant to be a slight to the Miami Heat. I’m not “hating” on Miami, as none of the proceeding is really their fault. But this NBA Finals matchup of the Miami Heat vs the Dallas Mavericks feels like a big letdown, an anti-climax. The Heat’s Big Three are doing what they planned on doing when they all joined forces last summer, and the rest of the NBA is putting up minimal resistance, which is disappointing.
Winning the NBA Championship is usually more about the journey than the destination. Players and teams become legendary due to the trials and tribulations they go through on their trip to the title. Michael Jordan and the Bulls finally slaying the Bad Boy Pistons. Hakeem Olajuwon annihilating a Hall of Fame gauntlet of NBA centers – Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal – to capture two titles. The Celtics-Lakers battles of the 1980s and of the past few years. But this year, Miami is cruising to a title with few speed bumps in their way. Boston was their dragon that they had to slay – we all were expecting an epic series – but instead the Celtics rolled over and played dead. It would have meant so much more if the series was a back and forth struggle and went seven games. And beating Chicago, despite the Bulls having the League’s best record – isn’t a real feather in the Heat’s caps, either. Chicago is a young, inexperienced team that few really believed were championship-ready this season.
Miami’s last test on the road to immortality was supposed to be Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson and the legendary Lakers. Or, worse case scenario, the San Antonio Spurs. Instead they get the Dallas Mavericks, a team few pegged as title-worthy heading into this year and a team best known for their playoff failures rather than triumphs. Likely LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and company will roll over Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs and get their coveted championship. But it will mean so much less than it would have if someone was willing and able to put up a fight and make things difficult for them. Once again, it’s not the Heat’s fault that they are so good, but it leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth that things are coming so easy to them. Similar to last summer, Miami is taking the easy road to the title (now that WAS a dig at them!).