For true Miami Heat fans, watching them play the first two games of the NBA playoffs has been no different than following them during the 2013-14 regular season. They use their highlights to take you on a high, before stomping your emotions in the mud as they take long stretches off. And by the time the clock clicks triple zeroes, you’re too drained to enjoy the victory.
The truth is, this series was a chance for the Heat to show their killer instinct — the same killer instinct that I accused them of misplacing all year. Which they did nothing to disprove.
They jumped out to a 16-point lead then shifted to just going through the motions. Or as Charles Barkley said, they were playing the game casually like a scrimmage, because they knew that they would eventually win.
Having confidence is more than half the battle, but it’s hard for fans to stay happily engaged when their team is giving up 15-5 runs to a Charlotte Bobcats squad that can barely score, especially when being out hustled by a guy — Al Jefferson — who looked like he was dragging a dead leg for four quarters.
It was Miami continuing to sleepwalk at their best. That is until LeBron James took a flying forearm to the throat from Josh McRoberts. Only after that did the Heat want to show life. So it basically took a throwback Detroit Pistons hit and another weird, lack of flagrant foul called for the Chosen One to get them semi-riled up. But no one points out the fact that he would have never been in position to get hit if they handled business in the first place.
Maybe next time.