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.
Look at those confident gents.