The Heat is on! Miami eliminates the Top-seeded Bulls in Game 5 of the East Finals.

Joakim Noah and the Bulls stumbled in the last
3 minutes of Game 5. They'r now on vacation.
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

MIA over CHI, 83-80 (MIA wins 4-1)

It’s easy to hate the Heat.

But it’s hard to ignore the fact that they’re damn good at playing basketball. Good enough to win the 2011 NBA title? I hope not.

But their 12-3 postseason record thus far is hard to shove under the rug. This is not the Heat team that went 9-8 to start the season. It’s not the Heat team that lost 5 straight mid-season.

LeBron's Miami Heat have been
nearly invincible in the 2011 Playoffs
(image by MIke Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Yes, this is still the Heat team that cries when everyone disses them, but I don’t think any amount of wins will change that anyway.

But they have been winning, and winning in ways they failed to do in the regular season. Much maligned were the Heat for choking on the crunchtime bone, but that’s exactly the opposite of what’s been happening lately. A 12-point Chicago lead with about 3 minutes to go should’ve been enough to hold off any team.

But of course we know Miami isn’t just any team.

They have 3 of the best players in all of basketball (Yes, Chris Bosh can now be counted -- he has played that well), and all the motivation to silence the plethor of critics around them.

Like me.

I’m a Miami Hater (hasn’t it been crystal clear yet?), but, man, I might just look at LeBron James hoisting a Larry O’Brien trophy come June. Yuck.

But it’s quite possible.

Hey, the Boston Cs couldn’t stop them, and neither could the MVP and the Coach of the Year. Right now it seems nobody can.
Not even the league MVP could
halt the Miami onslaught
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Except, perhaps, the team waiting on the other side of the Finals fence – the Dallas Mavericks. It’s the Miami crimson and ebony against the azure and ivory of Dallas. A classic Black Knight vs. White Knight battle. Evil and Good (haha). Guess who I’ll root for.

Too bad for the Bulls. The home-court advantage was nullified by Miami’s awesome “roadsmanship.” This time around, Rose and his herd just couldn’t close it.

If you look at the past season, the head-to-head between these teams is split down the middle at 4-4, but Miami won the ones that counted the most. And that’s why there’s no more talk of Pat Riley replacing Erik Spoelstra or Joel Anthony not having any offensive acumen or Mike Miller not meeting expectations. All of those have been extinguished by Miami’s entry into the NBA Finals.

And the Bulls’ oh so unceremonious exit from a would-have-been season of grace. Now Rose knows how LeBron felt in the past – being the MVP, but being unable to get the team into the promised land. Will he do a LeBron and bolt his hometown?

Nope. Not yet at least.

Because Chicago still has time to build around their young star, and they should. Starting with a consistent big time #2 scoring option. Luol Deng is good, but against someone like LeBron? He’s as filling as an onion ring.

Along with majority of the world’s population, I’ll continue hating the Heat.

But I won’t be all too surprised if they get 4 more wins. It won’t be the end of the world if they do, but it will be a darker, drearier one for sure.

Chris Bosh will make his first appearance in the NBA Finals
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Heat fans whoop it up in Miami. I knew LeBron wasn't real!
(image by the AP)
Erik Spoelstra is the first Filipino in the NBA Finals (I think)
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade and the Heat had some troubles,
but they still managed to win the East
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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