The Miami Heat have reached their second successive NBA Finals after another rollercoaster season of both dominant and disappointing performances.
The Heat were the pick of many experts to win it all before the season began, and now they find themselves with another chance to land the first championship in the Miami Big Three era.
Standing in their way this year are the Oklahoma City Thunder, winners of the Western Conference and a team many predicted would indeed make the Finals from the jam-packed Western Conference.
The Heat suffered disappointment at this stage last year with a humbling six-game series defeat to the surprise champion Dallas Mavericks. The Heat were shown in that series that execution and grit is good enough to beat talent.
The Heat rearmed with a new offense and have a second crack at that elusive title.
But they won't win it. Miami's make-up is not quite that of a championship-caliber roster.
The Miami Heat bench is a major flaw in the foundations of the Big Three plan.
Every team needs a bench that can both give the starters some quality rest and give the team some necessary spark when the starting five are floundering.
Miami's Big Three take home such a large percentage of the Heat's salary cap that their bench is incredibly sparse.
Shane Battier (far right) has given the Heat some valuable minutes off the bench during the 2012 Playoffs, but whether that can be sustained is another question.
The Heat's frontcourt rotation is so messy that only Chris Bosh can be labelled a starter. Head coach Erik Spoelstra has plugged in Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman at the 5 during these playoffs.
That would be a big enough issue on its own if it weren't for the difficulties the Heat have had in finding a reliable backup point guard. Rookie Norris Cole has proved a nice surprise given his late-round selection, but the Heat need more than an out-of-control, inexperienced rookie to give them an edge in a tight NBA Finals battle.
The bench could prove to be the Heat's Achilles' heel in the Finals. There is no way of really improving the depth without trading one member of Miami's superstar trio.
Every NBA team needs a leader both in terms of production and mental leadership.
Miami certainly has the production with three players capable of leading them to victory. The latter? Questionable.
James and Wade are in a state of co-leadership, not necessarily a bad thing but not a good thing either. Both tend to play different styles when just one would be preferable.
This lack of leadership, with perhaps the locker room being divided into two camps that believe one is better than the other, could come back to bite the Heat in spectacular fashion in the NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat's clutch troubles are well documented. They never truly figured out the fourth quarter and how to balance their key players' scoring throughout the game, save for the final period against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
LeBron's clutch issues are perhaps the most debated topic in the NBA. Wade used to take that responsibility pre-summer 2010. Chris Bosh used to take those big shots with the Toronto Raptors.
But with all three on the same team there seems to be a breakdown in knowing who is the designated "go-to guy" when the game is on the line in the dying seconds.
Without such definition, the Heat have shown to be prone to flustering on the final possessions, frantically searching for any sort of clean shot once the first option has failed. This results in shots with scant seconds left on the shot clock that the opposition is well capable of defending.
Injuries are a part of every team's season.
This season, the Heat lost Dwyane Wade for multiple games and he has not yet regained his dominance.
The biggest loss was Chris Bosh, who went down early in the Heat's semifinal series with the Indiana Pacers. It took every ounce of effort from both James and Wade to save the Heat from elimination.
This season may be an anomaly with the incredible number of games in such a short time, but if Wade's body is now beginning to disintegrate and Bosh proves to be slightly injury prone, the Heat are not getting any younger.
Shane Battier is banged up and Mike Miller can barely run back down the court, much less sit on the bench (he prefers to lie on tie floor instead).
With poor depth, injuries reduce Miami's margin for error even further.
There are always chemistry issues shortly after a new core is put together. The Miami Heat are no different.
That the chemistry issues are still prevalent after two seasons raises some eyebrows.
The Heat are dominant at times and at other times look utterly lost—like they do not know what the game plan should be despite the wealth of talent at their disposal.
Miami's defense won't change, but their offense tends to grind to a halt when different defensive looks are thrown at the Heat's starting five.
There are so many good defensive teams in the NBA that this problem of chemistry seriously needs a long-term solution. If the Heat were to meet a team like the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs, they would have been stretched to the breaking point and possibly beyond.
Erik Spoelstra has done a good job with the Heat.
Not a great job. A good job.
This Heat team would be a top team no matter the coach due to its overwhelming talent.
But Spoelstra is holding his team back. His "pace and space" offense introduced for this season was revolutionary at first as Miami threatened to run the league in the opening weeks of the season, but it ultimately could have sent the Heat tumbling out of the playoffs as they appeared exhausted at times.
And what sort of head coach changes his rotation during the playoffs, potentially disrupting team chemistry?
Luck. Lady Luck is a cruel mistress.
Last season the Miami Heat were unlucky enough to come up against a Dallas Mavericks team that was chocked full of players playing the best basketball of their careers.
Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler. All were playing at a level during the finals that was by far the best they had played in years.
The Heat in comparison were exhausted after tough playoff slogs against both the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls.
This season is no different. The Oklahoma City Thunder boast three superstars of their own and a frontcourt that totally overmatches the feeble offering that Miami has to offer.
Kevin Durant could have quite easily taken home MVP honors, Russell Westbrook is All-NBA and one of the league's top young guards and James Harden is the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
Again, the Heat have played two physically grueling playoff series, back-to-back, against the Indiana Pacers (won in six games) and Boston Celtics (won in seven games).
Time will tell again if the Heat have drawn a blank and cannot finish off their season with that sought after piece of hardware.
For daily NBA updates and live in-game tweets, hit follow: