By Daniel I. Dorfman–
CHICAGO (WSCR) There is a reason we love sports. The drama, the athleticism, the unpredictability. But every so often we get a chance to watch a truly loathsome team lose a game they never should have and no matter the victor, we all enjoy the spoils.
It has been a while since there has been a more enjoyable sporting event than last night’s collapse by the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Seeing the Heat blow a 15-point fourth quarter lead was akin to finding a $20 bill on the street…every day…for the next 30 days.
Seemingly with a victory in hand and thus going up 2-0 in the Finals, the Heat coughed up the lead as the big three of Messrs. James, Wade and Bosh were nowhere to be found at the end of the game. Miami shot 1-10 from the field in the final 7:15 as opposed to Dallas going 9-of-10 in that same stretch, capped off by Dirk Nowitzki scoring the final nine points of the game for the Mavs in their improbable win.
Dallas was the beneficiary of some bad Heat defense, a curious decision not to foul Nowitzki on what turned out to be the game winning shot when Miami had a foul to give, and an inability to find Dwyane Wade who had scored 36, but only took two shots in the final seven minutes. But there shouldn’t be too much concern over how they lost, just revel in the fact that they did.
The “Hollywood as Hell” Heat, in the words of Joakim Noah, were on full display when they took that 15-point lead in the fourth quarter and Wade and LeBron James were celebrating/taunting the Mavs. Thankfully, apparently Dallas used that as motivation and went on the 22-5 run to close out the game.
Unfortunately, the fourth quarter did have a bittersweet element to it. First, seeing Nowitzki drive to the hole against Chris Bosh with 3.6 seconds remaining for what turned out to be the winning basket was wonderful. But who in Chicago was not wondering if Derrick Rose had tried to drive to the hoop at the end of regulation in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals instead of trying that ill-advised jumper? Granted Rose was going up against the much bigger James in that circumstance, but there is still that what-might-have-been thought of that play.
Also, a similar caution should be labeled on last night like there was after the Bulls blew out Miami in Game 1. That is, it was only one game and there is a lot of basketball to be played.
But those are things to be lamented at other times. Today is for memories and not just of last night, but of 19 years ago. It was on this date Michael Jordan knocked down six threes in the first half of Game 1 against Portland in Game 1 of the 1992 Finals. Ironically enough, Dallas equaled another Finals record from that series last night coming back from 15 down in the fourth quarter as the Bulls did in Game 6 to win the series.
Those 1992 victories may have been sweeter for Bulls fans, but what happened last night in Miami was sweet for the entire basketball world. Let’s hope for more!
Do you agree with Daniel? Post your comments below.
Daniel I. Dorfman is a local freelance writer who has written and reported for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe among many other nationally prominent broadcast, online and print media organizations. He is also a researcher for 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDorfman To read more of Daniel’s blogs click here.