The game ended past midnight on the East coast and the celebrations went well into the early morning. The Miami Heat ended a year long journey by winning the 2012 NBA Championship. Not since Steve Young and 1995 San Francisco 49ers had a team played with such a big ‘monkey’ on their backs. The Heat were never given a inch of favoritism and they had to fight for every inch, during every game to win. They were down 2 games to 1 versus the behemoth front line of the Indiana Pacers and faced elimination to a rejuvenated Celtics team during the Eastern Conference Finals down 3 games to 2. All the time, as the squad had done all year after difficult stretches of play, the team came back and played better than they had done previously. Part of this can be attributed to the immense talents of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh but the rest is from the coaching staff, led by the ‘yoda-like’ Erik Spolestra.
The Heat were without Chris Bosh for nine playoff games, where he strained his abdominal muscle in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal versus Indiana. Bosh then returned in the Eastern Conference Final and played a magnificent Game 7 where he hit three three point shots, ending 3 out of 4. He finished with 19 points. His return was a testament to the Heat training staff and Bosh’s patience. The team also endured the birth of Bosh’s baby where Bosh hopped back and forth between Miami and New York during the Heat’s first round series against the New York Knicks to be with his wife Adrienne. The Heat went through countless changes in the starting lineup and shifted between three centers again as they did last year.
No doubt about it though, Pat Riley and Mickey Arison have built a perennial winning team in Miami. Not just a team that can look good on a magazine cover or in a TV commercial endorsing a product, but where it counts and when it counts during a grueling season and in tough games. This year, this Heat team have earned the NBA Title and deserve to carry the title of CHAMPION.