Fate really kicked the Bulls in the man region last night.
At long last.
After what feels like an entire year of fruitless effort and unending heartbreak, the turbulent ups and downs, the many times when it looked like they might never make it, the Miami cHeat have finally broken through.
This isn't merely a story. It's a saga. An odyssey. An epic tale of unwavering bravery and endurance in the face of staggering inequity and stunning odds.
Said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra: "We had to go through a lot of adversity. That struggle that we went through in March, where we lost five straight -- all of them close games, where we didn't execute down the stretch and weren't able to close games out -- that helped us. As painful as that was, we had to go through that fire together to be able to gain the confidence where we could be successful now in the postseason."
Normally, when human beings walk through fire, they get burned to a smoldering crisp. But not these cHeat. Oh no. Truly, from the ashes of doubt and hate, never has a Phoenix metaphor been more personified!
Added Wade: "It just seems like yesterday we were coming together as a new unit, and the Miami organization decided we needed to get away and (have) it just be about us and not let any outside distractions get in. And it was just about us."
It really does seem like only yesterday, doesn't it?
But the truth is this story stretches all the way back to last October. Nature did not create mortal man to survive the eight months of agonized waiting these cHeat have endured. They are more god than man. When the sun's light has faded and human life has been nearly extinguished from the desolate surface of a dying world, still shall the minstrels sing of the great light that shone forth from the asses of these men on this holy day!
You want pain? You want suffering? Look at the soul-wrenching anguish LeBron experienced when Derrick Rose ruthlessly swiped at the air in front of him:
Fortunately, the officials saw fit to reward LeBron's Job-like suffering with a foul before bloody stigmata could form on his mighty wrists. Truly is he the Chosen One. And, like a Messiah, he is met with unreasoning hate.
How much longer must this be so?
Said King Crab: "What's today's date -- the 26th? I say we've got about a month left. About a month left of continued hate. We'll see what happens next year."
No one has been more spiteful toward the cHeat than Sir Charles Barkley, Lord of Hate and Dark Despair, Weaver of Shadow and Spreader of Deceit.
Said Barkley: "These athletes today are all wussified. I've been saying LeBron's been the best player in the league for three years. And I say one thing criticizing The Decision, and I get a phone call from Nike saying why don't I like LeBron? It's interesting how this (expletive) works. These groups today, if you don't say 100 percent positive about their guy or their team, they overreact."
Don't believe his lies.
If you don't think this is divine providence, then you need to go buy a dictionary, look up "divine" and "providence," and then jam them together. From ESPN Stats and Information:
Including the regular season, the Chicago Bulls were 53-0 when leading by double-digits in the fourth quarter. So, with only 3:14 remaining in Game 5, and the Bulls leading by 12 points a win appeared all but certain.
The Miami Heat had other plans though, finishing the game on an 18-3 run to advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in franchise history.
According to 10,000 simulations done by Accuscore.com, the Heat had just a 1 percent chance of winning the game with 3:14 remaining.
Just like it's been all season, the "Big Three" for Miami were at the center of it all, scoring 69 of the team's 83 points, including the last 33.
It wasn't all good for the trio though; through three quarters they combined for as many field goals as turnovers (13).
The main culprit was Dwyane Wade, who committed nine turnovers to tie his playoff career-high and the franchise playoff record.
However, along with LeBron James, the pair came alive scoring 22 points in the final frame, while connecting on their last six field goal attempts, three of which came from behind the 3-point line.
LeBron isn't just a Majestic King and Basketball Messiah, mind you, he's a prophet. Remember his sage Tweet: "Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time. Its [sic] not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"
Karma was indeed bitchy to Derrick Rose, who pulled off the crime of the century by stealing LeBron's 2011 MVP award. In retribution, Karma punked Rose into 9-for-29 shooting and 5 turnovers in the biggest game of his life. Fittingly, Chicago's last shot of the season was Rose getting stuffed by James on the game's final play:
Said Rose: "At the end, it's all me. Turnovers, missed shots, fouls. The series is over."
Karma also benched Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for the entire fourth quarter. Would anyone have ever guessed that Keith Bogans would see more PT in winning time than Boozer and Noah? But it was written in the Book of Time.
Probably by LeBron.
This wasn't just a victory for LeBron, or the cHeat, or the city of Miami, or the long-suffering cHeat fans who have struggled though a five-year championship drought, it was a victory for the American way of life. In a fast food culture full of armchair cynics who eschew personal accountability and demand instant gratification, these cHeat can be a moral exemplar, a throwback if you will to an earlier time in which hard work and perseverance really can pay off over time if you just stick with something and put the needs of other ahead of your own.
Joakim Noah, quote machine: Three words: "Hollywood as hell."
Pat Riley, quote machine: "You can see that we have two, three players that have no fear. Chris steps up there and makes two free throws that he's got to make. LeBron and Dwyane struggling a little bit with their game most of the night, but they made some big, big shots.That's what it's all about."
Dwyane Wade, quote machine: "We don't even know what happened. I'm not going to lie to you and say we do. I can't remember all the plays. I just remember the timeout, and Coach just looked at us and said, 'We've done this before. We've been in games where we've gone on a 12-0 or 14-0 run. Just believe.' We came out of that timeout believing if we get stops, we can give ourselves an opportunity. That's all I remember."
Taj Gibson, quote machine: "[Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau] was basically saying his thing -- 'score, stop, score.' We had a good lead. It was all about getting stops and who could close it out. But then we really couldn't get any stops and the momentum grew."
Kurt Thomas, quote machine: "They hit some tough shots, step-back 3s, runners, you can't take anything away from them. They know how to put the ball in the hole and they showed it. I don't think I've ever experienced that. It seemed like they just hit one big shot after another. I thought we had a nice lead there, and it just slipped away. We let a golden opportunity get away."
Ronnie Brewer, quote machine: "We wanted [James] to take contested 2s, contested 3s. I guess you have to limit him but he stepped up and he willed his team to victory."