It most certainly was not the series ending most NBA fans and analysts expected, or more accurately, hoped for.
The Miami Heat won Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, clinching the series 4-1. The Chicago Bulls had no answer for Miami’s 4th quarter magic for the fourth straight game. The Bulls led the Heat 77-67 with 2:40 left and the windy city could not have been louder or more supportive. Yet, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade apparently decided the series had gone on long enough.
The game seemed to favor Chicago, however.
The Bulls put their foot on the accelerator early and controlled the Heat the whole game. Their defense forced turnover after costly turnover. Once the game clock ran down around 3:00 in the 4th quarter, Rose and the rest of the Bulls coasted. They ran late shot clock plays that are just flat-out unproductive against a team as defensively capable to stop any offense as Miami is.
The Miami Heat have been the poster children for “love to hate ’em” teams. Well, the hate will continue in their wake to the 2011 NBA Finals Series.
The Dallas Mavericks, having won their clinching 4th game of the Western Conference Finals Series at home in Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, will no doubt have watched this game closely with the rest of the country.
Any Mav’ that denies watching the game, is either lying, or “Tivoed” it.
My opinion is that the Miami Heat just won their first title tonight. Delayed though the trophy ceremony might be going forward, (technically the Heat still have to play Dallas). Sorry Mark Cuban, but front row seats to your own team’s embarrassing execution are still front row. Right?