Photo courtesy Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Photo courtesy Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Game 7 was sort of like watching a blockbuster movie.

How’s it going to end. we thought. It could go either way? Is it the favorite or the underdog? Who will win?! And then the game plays itself out and we say, “Of course that’s how it ends.”

Shame on us for ever doubting the Heat wouldn’t win the Finals. How predictable was it? This shameless, self-gloating sports fan isn’t even bragging that he called it. This wasn’t Rudy or even Star Wars.

In the end, the evil empire won.

And I’m not really saying Miami is evil. But let’s face it: that’s the perception, no? You can’t round up some of the league’s most premium talent including the game’s best player in the most ostentatious way possible and still expect to be liked.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Hell, you can’t even really expect your fan base not to leave at the first sign of trouble.

Of COURSE that’s how it ends. The Spurs had Miami on the ropes, but they let the title slip away in Game 6 and then they pissed it away in Game 7.

That’s not what happened, you say? Really? In the fourth quarter of last night’s Game 7, I can’t possibly imagine even one offensive play was drawn up for San Antonio. If it was, it would look like chicken scratch on Pop’s white board. For most of the second half, whoever was on the court for San Antonio save for Kawhi Leonard sort of just ran around as if they were on fire and hoped for the best.

And that’s not even to mention the enigma that is Manu Ginobili. No one — NO ONE — was more frustrating to watch last night. Every brilliant play was followed up by something that just made you physically cringe. Namely: the thrown away pass (I know, I need to be more specific) and whatever the hell that spastic attempt at a reverse layup was at the end of the game. But SOMEHOW, through it all, Gregg Popovich stuck with him like Captain Edward Smith stuck with the Titanic.

Yet, no one’s really laughing at San Antonio. As if they were supposed to lose all along. As if Game 1 and Game 3 and Game 5 never happened. Because, in the end, we revert to the same old boring story line.

And that storyline revolved around a “win or bust” situation for the Heat. Had they lost Game 7, there’s not even a sliver of a chance that they would’ve been viewed the same way we’re viewing San Antonio now. We would’ve called them choke artists, frauds, as fake as the fans that left the stadium early Tuesday night.

The expectations were just simply that high for Miami. ¬†And, as a reward, their shortcomings will be overlooked for another year. We’ll overlook the fact that Miami-Dade police should’ve filed a missing persons report for Chris Bosh during Game 7. We’ll overlook the fact that Dwayne Wade was, at best, inconsistent during The Finals. We’ll overlook the fact that the ‘Big Three’ had some of the most disgusting displays of whining of any group of players in the playoffs.

We’ll even overlook the fact that Eric Spoelstra still — STILL — is a joke of a head coach.

Championships allow us to romanticize teams and cover up their blemishes. In a few years, LeBron’s block on Tiago Splitter and Ray Allen’s Game 6 trey won’t just be SportsCenter highlights, they’ll be the stuff of sports folklore.

And, by then, winning — that only thing that matters — may completely alter the way we view the Heat’s successful title defense in 2013.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
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