Heat’s title script entering final act
Posted: Saturday, May 28, 2011 12:02 am
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — This was how LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh envisioned it when they decided to unite in Miami, and now that a championship is in sight, they’re not offering any apologies.
Don’t like the decision?
Still upset about how everything unfolded?
Fine, but understand this:
“I wanted to team up with some guys that I understood would never die down in the moment,” James said. “The opportunity presented itself with this great organization, and D-Wade came to me and said it was possible. We made it happen.”
Did they ever, just when it seemed this series was about to be extended.
James scored 28 points, Wade added 21, and they led a furious rally in the final minutes as the Heat eliminated Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls 83-80 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
James and Wade were simply spectacular down the stretch Thursday, each scoring eight during a game-ending 18-3 run as the Heat wiped out a 12-point deficit to win the series.
Now, they are headed back to the NBA finals for the first time since 2006, and in a fitting twist, they’ll be facing the Mavericks. Back then, with Wade leading the way, Miami beat Dallas to capture the championship. This time, it’ll be James and Dirk Nowitzki going at it for their first rings.
The Heat will host Game 1 on Tuesday night.
“There’s no sense of relief right now,” James said. “We’ve still got work to do. We’ll look at this moment tonight, what we just accomplished. But we get ready for Dallas very soon.”
Even so, this is exactly where the Big Three intended to be right from the start, like it or not. And it’s safe to say, most don’t.
The Heat, after all, wore that villain label well. The free-agent frenzy left a bitter taste for many, particularly after James’ announcement on national TV.
As for the hatred?
“What’s today’s date — the 26th?” James said. “I say we’ve got about a month left. About a month left of continued hate. We’ll see what happens next year.”
Published in The Messenger 5.27.11