Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Bulls’

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The NBA Playoffs start tomorrow and I am very happy. The Eastern Conference seems pretty cut and dry. Chicago, Miami and Boston are the cream of the crop.

Here are my predictions:

Bulls/Pacers: Bulls in 4.

Heat/Sixers: Heat in 5

Celtics/Knicks: Celtics in 4

Magic/Hawks: Magic in 6

Second Round:

Bulls/Magic: Bulls in 5

Celtics/Heat: Celtics in 6

Eastern Conference Finals:

Bulls/Celtics: Bulls in 6

Losing four games in a row is never fun. Losing them in spectacular fashion can be down right maddening.

This is what has happened to the Miami Heat recently. 

After Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls some of the Heat players were actually crying in the locker room after the game. And of course every two-bit sports caster came up with the oh so clever, “There’s no crying in basketball,” line like they just bested Shakespeare.

A lot of people are enjoying the Heat’s misfortune right now. Most of it is just piling on. It is the flip side of all the fawning the media gave to them this summer. So many people were predicting this team would win 70-plus games. Many were predicting they would easily eclipse the all time win record held by the 95-96 Chicago Bulls. Most of those “experts” probably feel really stupid right now so they are doing a 180 and trashing the Heat. Luckily some of us didn’t drink the Kool Aid and tried to keep a (somewhat) level head about this.

It’s almost sad to watch as LeBron James continually fails to make the game winning shot at the end of close game. It gets even more uncomfortable watching him continue to try game after game and come up short.  It’s like watching Kevin Costner in “Tin Cup” desperately trying to clear that water hazard, only to send ball after ball into the drink. This is bordering on epic failure.

After the game, LeBron said he apologized to his team for letting them down at the end of games.

If he wants to stop letting his team down he should do what he has always done in crunch time; pass the ball to someone else. I have said it time and time again, he just does not have that killer instinct to finish off games. He has always been great when his team is blowing out an opponent. But when the game is close he continually comes up short.

When Dwyane Wade said that the world was happy because the Heat were losing I think he turned off that last few supporters they had outside of South Beach. No one wants to hear any of them whine or pretend they area martyr.

They brought this upon themselves. From the LeBron’s ill-conceived “Decision” to the ridiculous way they we introduced to Miami to the stupid “Heatles” moniker they tried to name themselves, they have put a target on their backs. So they shouldn’t be surprised when people take great delight in their failure.

The Miami Heat have gone out of their way to make sure they are noticed. To make sure the spotlight is on them. And they got it. But you can’t just have all the attention on you when things are going your way. You have to be ready to deal with the backlash when times are tough. And make no mistake, times are tought for the Heat right now. And to end on another oh so clever line, “It’s time to see if LeBron and company can handle the heat.”

While ESPN is desperately waiting to give LeBron James his first championship it, is the Miami Heat fans that are injection some sense into the circus that has followed the Heat for the last month. Kind of.

In a recent open scrimmage, Heat fans burst into a “Beat L.A.!” chant. While that is extremely premature, it does prove one thing: Even front running Heat fans know the Los Angeles Lakers are the team to beat. Now if we can just get someone at ESPN to realize this because they are “All Heat, All the Time” now that the NBA season is at hand.

And let’s not forget about the other teams in the league, especially those in the Eastern Conference. I’m sure the Boston Celtics, the Orlando Magic and even the Chicago Bulls will have something to say about who faces (and loses to) the Lakers in the Finals.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for being optimistic, especially when it comes to sports. (Hell, I still believe that the Dodgers will make it back to the World Series before I die!)But there is a fine line between optimistic and delusional. The Heat fans and ESPN are right up against that line.