“We thought when we played them in Boston, we thought we buried them,”…
The above comment from Dwayne Wade to reporters on Monday probably sums up the collective thoughts of all the Heat nation following Miami’s 7 game series victory against the Boston Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
One of the main speculated reasons for the Big 3 uniting in 2010 was to vanquish the Celts.
It seemed like countless times, Wade would try to get out of the early rounds or LeBron would try to make it back to the Finals and who would be standing in their way Mutombo wagging them back to Miami and Cleveland respectively?
Boston’s then-Big 3: Garnett, Pierce, Allen.
I hated those guys…
(Of course, I was ecstatic when Ray Ray came to South Beach and made up for everything in last years Finals, so it’s all good now).
..respected them, but hated them. In a way, it’s probably how most Pacers fans feel about Miami now… the Big 3 doing to Indy what Boston did to them on many a playoff night.
Then Bosh, James, and Wade collected their talents and achieved their goal. They bounced their Boston foes in 2011 and all seemed right with the world…I mean, until June. It wasn’t the whole reason, but I still partially blame the demons exorcised against the Celtics and the emotional toll it placed on LeBron, Chris, and Dwayne for them coming up short against Dallas.
That off-season the talk continued. “Tried to call LeBron, but I got no rings” “Choke Artist” “Over Rated” “Prince” .
That talk reached it’s pinnacle in the 2012 postseason. After rallying from down 2-1 in the previous round without Bosh to eliminate the Pacers, the Heat faced a Game 5 at home vs Boston: the thorn-in-their-side for more than four years.
Miami took care of business last year, so naturally they’ll do the same tied 2-2 at home…
Of course that didn’t happen. The Heat failed to take advantage of home court and fell down 3-2 as the series shifted back to the house of horrors known as the TD Garden.
The Good Job, Good Ever Kid received his 15 minutes of fame…
…that was the only positive take away preceding Game 6, because with that loss the hatred, criticism, and animosity towards LeBron and the Heat returned in full force.
Whether it was the hatred or the media, a legacy defining performance from the King would be the only way Pierce and Garnett and Boston could be defeated…
…and he delivered. 45 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists…
… and a date for a Game 7 in South Beach was set.
Another amazing performance from LeBron (31 pts, 12 rebs, 2 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk), and seemingly Boston was dead…
…Garnett was dead…
…Pierce was dead…
…or at least they were supposed to be.
2 Finals past, Allen jumped ship which saved LeBron’s legacy and the Heat’s hopes of a third title for the franchise in the process, Doc went to the Clippers, and Pierce and Garnett went hard in Brooklyn.
I laughed at this move. I praised Danny Angie for essentially stealing from the Nets and killing off old baggage by shipping Truth and KG to them.
I told myself it would never work, that they’d be lucky to make the playoffs let alone win a series…
…and yet here they are.
For the fourth, and probably final, time in the last five postseasons Wade will duel with KG and Paul.
For the fifth, and probably final, time in the last seven postseasons The King and The Truth will battle to survive and advance.
In a league desperately searching for rivalries, this one has risen for one final time.
Pierce is right, Brooklyn-Miami is not yet at the level that Boston-Miami was at…but it doesn’t have to be.
Because LeBron-Pierce, LeBron-KG, Dwayne-Pierce, and Dwayne-KG is as true a rivalry as you’ll fine.
True, James and Wade are far superior to the rival duo from Brooklyn. Garnett and Pierce are shells of what they once were, but it doesn’t tarnish what this series means.
Regardless of who wins, it’s the end of an era.
One final matchup between old foes.
One final chapter in The King and Three vs The Truth and KG.