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LeBron James has expressed that the Miami Heat feel slighted when people say the Spurs gave away the championship in last year’s finals by blowing their late lead in Game 6. I am one with the masses – the Miami Heat got lucky last year and there’s nothing wrong with luck. The San Antonio Spurs were the better team in 2013, but lost because of a few unlucky bounces and Gregg Popovich’s decision to leave Tim Duncan off the floor during the Chris Bosh- Ray Allen miracle play.
Other mitigating factors include Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Manu Ginobili playing through injuries during the series that would have kept them out of the lineup in any non-playoff circumstance. Parker was going to win Finals MVP before he injured his hamstring in Game 3. Ginobili was all-time horrid in Game 6 with 9 points, 8 turnovers, and missed clutch free throws.
Luck is a big thing in the playoffs but, as Bill Simmons as chronicled, the Heat’s lucky Game 6 bounce defies the word improbable and borders something more akin to a deleted scene from The Sixth Man than a real life basketball occurrence.
Larry Bird’s famous steal and game-ending assist to Dennis Johnson in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals took foresight and an insane feel for the game.
Ray Allen’s meticulous approach to the game made the Heat’s miracle shot possible but it also took a lot of other weird circumstances to take place.
Damn. No matter how many times I watch that shot, I can’t believe Ray Allen’s feet are so perfectly set. It’s ridiculous that anyone is that good at anything.
These are the playoffs. Shit happens. No one can take away what the Heat have accomplished – 4 Finals appearances in a row with a possibility for three consecutive championships. No matter the circumstances, that is incredible. The discussion for how to judge their legacy should come after the 2014 Finals are complete. Let’s just enjoy some good basketball until that time.