It had seemed to be a distant memory at this point; the Miami Heat were now closing out games.
Not so fast.
In a potentially series-shifting collapse, Miami gave away a 2-0 lead heading to Dallas after losing a 15-point lead with 7:15 remaining. Dwayne Wade's 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run, giving the Heat an 88-73 lead. And then it happened.
LeBron James and Wade basking in their success, prematurely celebrating with 7:15 left in the game.
Where have we seen that before?
The Heat let their guard down to a Mavericks team which has proven to be resilient in these times, just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder, who blew a 15-point lead to these same Mavs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
"We're a veteran team and we don't get too high with the highs and too low with the lows," Nowitzki said. "The game is over when the final buzzer rings," Shawn Marion said.
On the flip side, Wade's extended follow through in front of the Dallas bench along with extensive basking on James' part may be inferred as getting ahead of themselves.
"There was no celebration at all," James said. "I was excited about the fact that he hit a big shot and we went up 15."
Maybe not, but as we've learned, James' perception and the rest of society don't tend to match up.
Celebration or not, Miami threw away a golden opportunity to take control of this series, and look no further than Bron Bron. Wade was by far the most dominant player on Miami and he gets only three shots, one being a half-court desperation heave, in the final seven minutes?
The plan was to have a teammate to rely on to have less of the burden on himself, but yet he doesn't even use him?
Explain that one to me.
Wade was having his way, shooting 13-of-20 from the field as Dallas had no answer, yet possession after possession, all Miami could manage was one jump shot after another. The closers had faded back to regular-season form, looking as dazed and confused as Bron Bron when cameras are nowhere to be found.
Miami's gaffe gives Dallas all the momentum in the world, stealing a game on the road. Miami's lack of a killer instinct, a characteristic James has been oft-criticized for, cost them as they were unable to put away Dallas.
It must've been interesting to watch Nowitzki on the other side, a man who walks a similar path as James, up until the part where Dirk continued pursuing a title with the Mavericks and not fleeing with a white flag in hand. Wierd thing is, James could've avoided any backlash by giving the ball to Batman, excuse me, Wade, down the stretch.
Then again, what is James exactly playing for, the guy has already celebrated like a King (pun intended) back in July.
No, not a title, but himself.
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