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2012 nba eastern conference finals

The Heat Believe They’re Going to Win, Again

MIAMI, FL - MAY 28: The Miami Heat players celebrate in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

A team like the Miami Heat, with its over-the-top superstars and perpetual championship-or-bust albatross, has always seemed particularly vulnerable to the whims of their psyche. When they're down, like after the Game Three loss to the Pacers that put them behind 2-1, they looked lost and on the brink of collapse. Now, after a 93–79 wipe-out of the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals last night, they've won four games in a row, and they're world champs again, mocking the Celtics, dancing around, laughing, acting as if nothing were ever the matter. (They even made fun of one of those Kevin Garnett primal screams at the end of the game, which would seem like tempting some sort of vengeful deity.) Anyway, the Heat, so deflated just a week or so ago, are on top of the planet ... until their next breakdown, anyway. (This is sort of the pattern.) Meanwhile, while you were grilling this weekend, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game One of the Western Conference Finals, their nineteenth win in a row. They danced and laughed decidedly less than the Heat did.

Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images