Be advised, if journalism is what you seek, you won't find it here.
Thanks for stepping up to your most crucial game in several years—if not in your collective careers—and bending over as your opponent jump-kicked you by 21 points. In front of your own fans.
Thanks for letting the most gifted player in NBA history catch you by surprise and possibly helping him locate the world's deadliest "on" switch" in the process.
Thanks for making people think you were ready to deal with this Miami team, when clearly, you weren't. Thanks for getting the entire continent's hopes up—from your fans in Beantown to heartfelt Heat haters everywhere—only to let us down utterly, completely and unequivocally.
You have to understand, some people are more emotionally invested in the Heat being stopped than you can imagine. Some people in your extended fanbase for this series, are rooting for you harder than your own fans ever could.
Some people see basketball—and sports in general—as a theater where everyday values (hard work, selflessness, etc.) can be put on display, and this Miami team goes so firmly against these values that there is genuine chagrin over the dawn of the entitled super-team era. Not that it's your responsibility to do anything about this, but to qualify the point I'm about to make...
Many fans, such as myself, cope by accepting the worst, conceding that a Heat title is inevitable rather than clinging to false hope only to be crushed when it happens. Best to brace for it early. Heck, I've been betting money on them to win it all so that I could soften the blow once they seal the deal and I'm forced to turn my back on the NBA.
As such, when you guys went down 0-2 early on, I for one was indifferent. I had already accepted the idea of your impending LeBeating on the way to another in a presumably endless string of conference titles for Miami. Then you won two in a row at home and I was impressed, but not moved as far as the ultimate outcome of the series; it was no news to me that you guys are too proud to go down via sweep.
Then you had to go and take Game 5. You suddenly had the unholy monster on the verge of defeat, and in the process you lit a glimmer of hope in the hearts of fans who had done themselves the favor of coming to grips with Miami's prophesied death march.
When that final buzzer sounded in Game 5, I had to pinch myself. Miami one game from being neutralized for one more year? And by none other than the team that "forced" them to get together in the first place? It was almost too crazy to think, like some mad dream that only makes sense when you're inside it, but which no waking person would dare entertain.
Against my own better judgment, I allowed myself to believe. I found myself thinking "am I going to lose $200 before the finals even start?" Let me tell you guys, you sure have one hell of a way of saying "no."
Rondo, God bless ya, but you can't do it alone. Truth...did you really think you could get away with shooting like Ray Charles for two straight games?
Conversely, did you somehow expect LeBron to go quietly after all the crap he's taken? Just sneak in a pointless 30-10 game before disappearing on cue? Did you not realize you were basically locked in a cage with a cornered mountain lion on steroids?
Understand, I went into tonight expecting one of two outcomes. I figured about a 50-50 chance you either closed out the Heat (and made my summer) or went down swinging like champs. What I did not expect was to see you guys put forth such an utterly anemic and prideless performance, and fail to make it a game for even one second.
It's not over, is it? Game 7?
Is anyone supposed to take your performance tonight as any sort of indication that you're ready to take down the Heat in their own house? I, for one, just learned I can type and laugh at the same time.
You'll understand if many fans are reluctant to pin their hopes on you again. Yeah, no thanks. I think we've learned that all you were ready to do was cruelly tease your fans (and basketball purists everywhere) with an unthinkably happy ending, then get blown to smithereens at the eleventh hour.
Shame on you guys for putting hope in the hearts of people who have no business hoping. My soul died a little as I watched you take a full 48 minutes to lay the single largest egg of your lives. If only you didn't play that joke on everybody in Game 5, I might have seen it coming. Now the coping process begins anew.
Have fun in Miami tomorrow, and enjoy taking the loser's walk when it's over. I'd tell you to prove me wrong, but you already have.
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