As many riveting stories flooded the NBA in the past year, none was more intriguing and covered more thoroughly than the new “Big 3” in South Beach. Since Lebron James’ “The Decision” special last summer, some basketball fans have vilified the Miami Heat while others were excited to see three of the biggest names in basketball together on the same court.
The team initially didn’t live quite up to expectations. After starting a disappointing 9-8, Miami did string together an incredible run of 21 out of 22 and never were out of the top 3 in the east after that run. However, with four and five game losing streaks in January and March there were still many questions to be had. Plus, they were only 16-19 against top notch competition (all playoff teams excluding the Pacers, Sixers and Bobcats).
Come playoff time, the Heat have so far responded to their critics with decisive series wins against the Sixers and their nemeses the, albeit aging and injured, Boston Celtics. Now in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat will take on possibly their toughest competition yet: NBA MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls, who swept the season series 3-0.
Yes, Miami had the lowest production off the bench than any team in the NBA during the regular season, but the reserves (James Jones, Mike Bibby, etc.) have shown up in the playoffs with some clutch shots. With the entire team stepping up, the Heat now look poised to compete for the title.
Will Lebron finally get his ring? Will the Heat finally be vindicated? Time will only tell.