"This season it's been all about the Miami Heat, the Cinderella team that didn't secure the championship but won in just about every other category you can think of."
by Tony C. Lesesne
The Eastern Conference champs had more to gain in the playoffs than most other teams by simply getting there. The Lakers on the other hand had no other choice but to win for their season to be considered a success. A loss may have led to the firing of the head coach and the release of several players. The Lakers had a cast that made it nearly impossible for any team to beat them. The Miami Heat on the other hand had a number of rookies, players from various other teams, and Jimmy Butler who has been a journeyman for most of his career but showed a legendary degree of fight against every team he went head to head with as did the supporting cast.
In what would be known as one of the strangest, most surreal playoff series ever held in “the bubble” where all the teams came together in Orlando; no fans, no media, and strictly limited access. That's what the pandemic did to the NBA. Even stranger is the fact that the normal NBA season would end in February, and a new season would begin in late October.
All that went out the window because of the pandemic leaving the teams and the league to come up with a system that ultimately ended on October 11th. Through all of that the Heat got stronger and more exciting to watch with every series of which they were projected to lose. But they not only won, they swept or almost swept every team they faced with the exception of the Lakers.
Heat fans can also hope for a strong return next year considering they have salary cap money to go hunting for more talent and a stronger set of players. Either way the Miami Heat comes out of this championship series like a Cinderella team that many other players would like to play for. The team fans of other NBA teams have gained a whole new level of respect for the Miami Heat.
Basketball fans are looking at what the Heat can achieve next season and are wondering who will be added to the team and who will be traded away, all in the hopes of winning the Eastern Conference Title again and hopefully the National Championship next season.
This season it's been all about the Miami Heat, the Cinderella team that didn't secure the championship but won in just about every other category you can think of. I’ll raise my glass and call for a toast for the Miami Heat, its dynamic coach and of course Pat Riley, the architect of this winning formula.