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Final record: 52-30
First round: Defeated Chicago Bulls 4-2
Semifinals: Defeated New Jersey Nets 4-1
Conference Finals: Defeated Detroit Pistons 4-2
NBA Finals: Defeated Dallas Mavericks 4-2
2005 was supposed to be the Miami Heat's year. Not as many people expected the Heat to go right on out and do the same thing the very next season considering the 11-10 start and the stepping down of coach Stan Van Gundy.
With Pat Riley now in control of a team that appeared to be in turmoil, the Heat could, and would, get down to business.
Still led by the dynamic duo of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal, they were joined by a plethora of veterans in Jason Williams, Gary Payton, Antoine Walker and James Posey. It was a vast improvement from the roster the season before, but it was an extremely dangerous move considering how many ego's that the organization had actually brought on to one team.
Surprisingly enough, the team persisted through an above average regular season that saw them finish off the year going 41-20 en route to a No. 2 seed. The postseason run wasn't easy as it was the previous year as it took them six games to dispel of an up-and-coming Chicago Bulls squad and five to get of the upset minded New Jersey Nets before encountering the Detroit Pistons one more time.
Even without home court advantage this time around, the Heat made short work of their Eastern Conference foes. Miami would take home court advantage with a win in Detroit in Game 1 and would go on to win the rest of its home games without any injuries to any star players.
They would then meet up in a historical battle that pitted two teams that had never been to an NBA Finals before. With both teams being hungry for a title, the battle lasted longer than anyone anticipated especially after the first two games. Dallas took the first two games at home with ease and appeared well on its way to a Game 3 win if not for Dwyane Wade willing the team back to an unbelievable two point victory that was capped off by a game winner from Payton.
The Heat would then dominate Game 4 before just barely beating the Mavericks in Game 5 with an overtime victory that they win would by one point. They would finish off the job with a Game 6 win back in Dallas that they would take by three points. Wade would be awarded a deserving Finals MVP award after averaging 35 points per contest.
Follow John Friel on twitter @JohnFtheheatgod