NBA Miami Heat

Miami Heat Show Heart of a Champion Against Brooklyn Nets

Ray Allen, Miami Heat

Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

You can say that the champion came out of the Miami Heat when they needed it most.

It is what the Heat have been doing all year long. Yes, this team put the regular season on cruise control, opting to rest its starters instead of going on a grueling grind to grab the home-court advantage away from the Indiana Pacers.

But when this team needed to flex its champion muscle, the Heat always rose to the occasion, especially LeBron James, who has had to carry the entire load for Miami while Dwayne Wade was nursing injuries and Chris Bosh was cruising along.

You can hate on Miami all you want. You can call them soft. You can call them whiners. You can call them flawed, and the Heat certainly fit all of those terms. But one thing that you cannot say is that this team does not have the heart of a champion.

Having the heart of a champion is not dominating your foes throughout the regular season, or even dominating them in the playoffs. It is about playing like a champion when you have to play like one.

Everyone, including me, ripped the Heat after coming out lackadaisical in Game 3. However, when Miami was down and it was looking like the Brooklyn Nets would walk back onto the American Airlines Arena floor with new life in the series, the reigning champs came out and sent the Nets packing for the summer.

Miami did not dominate the Nets. They were great when they had to be great. That is what champions do.

Kareem Gantt is an NBA writer for Rant Sports. For more from this author, you can ‘follow’ him on Twitter, ‘like’ him on Facebook and ‘add’ him to your network on Google