NBA Playoffs 2011: Why the Miami Heat Beat the Boston Celtics

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NBA Playoffs 2011: Why the Miami Heat Beat the Boston Celtics
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With 40.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter, LeBron James nailed a three-pointer that effectively ended the game. The shot he has been trying to hit his entire career, finally went in.

Throw out all the stats. Throw out the fact that Jeff Green has not lived up to potential. Throw out the fact that Glen "Big Baby" Davis was about as effective as a toddler on the court. Throw out Rondo's dislocated elbow and ignore the fact that Shaquille O'Neal was a non-factor throughout the entire series.

Miami Heat won this series because they were simply the better team.

The Boston Celtics are a great team with many weapons on both ends of the floor. They play the sport with great dedication. Their coach, Doc Rivers, has instilled discipline, and you could sense a deep "brotherhood" of sorts within their organization.

However, they just do not have the talent that the Miami Heat have.

Pat Riley has built this team to win, this year. What is most surprising about the Conference Semifinals that not many anticipated is the fact that Miami Heat truly believed they could win. In previous years, we watched LeBron James, lose interest in the game after being down.

This year, we see the fight.

When the "big three" are putting up stats like 81 points and 27 rebounds combined, they are unstoppable. James is not giving up this year. This Miami Heat team is truly showing the mental capacity to withstand anything, which is surprising.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

During the regular season we learned a lot about the Miami Heat. They celebrated before the season started. There was tension between the team and Erik Spoelstra during the low points of the season. They cried in the locker room and were negatively portrayed throughout the season.

However, all that appears to be in the past.

The Miami Heat have adopted a new attitude this postseason, one that could very well see them win the championship without much resistance from other teams. LeBron and company believed they could win, something that was not exemplified in the past.

He has since apologized for the distasteful and unnecessary offseason fiasco that saw him abandon Cleveland to join the Miami Heat. It was not about the motive or the outcome, his negative reputation derived from the way we completed the move. He has admitted that with the Cavaliers, he just couldn't do it as the lone star. 

He is probably right.

This Miami Heat team has an instilled belief that they could win this year, and that is the difference. They fought back, they hit the big shots when needed, and all three superstars have stepped up their game. The problems witnessed in the regular season have since disappeared.

What everyone around the NBA feared has returned and is haunting the opposition. When the big three live up to their potential and dominate the game, they cannot be stopped.

This is why the Boston Celtics were defeated in five games.

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