And so the first chapter of this new era of Miami Heat basketball has been written.
But the book isn't complete. Not by a long shot.
The Heat will have a lot to think about over the summer. The Mavs were the better team in this series and deserved to win it but had the Big 3 played to their abilities this would have been a very different result.
The Game 2 meltdown turned out to be an even bigger turning point than we thought it already was. The Mavs victory took home-court advantage but it also allowed them to absorb their own home loss and yet still manage to take control of the series with their next two home games. With the series tied 1-1, the odd 2-3-2 format of the Finals series ultimately worked in favor of the Mavs. No question that the Heat really could have used a home game for the fifth game of the series.
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Much will be made of LeBron not stepping in crunch time of the Heat's losses in this series. His many critics (and a certain city) will revel in his failure to step up in the fourth quarter. They couldn't wait for this moment all season long. There's no question he could have, and should have, played more aggressive. The Heat got very little from their bench and 2 starters so they needed him to play great, not just good, for them to beat the talented and deep Mavs.