The Miami Heat will have to wait one more year to begin their run of not five, not six, not seven titles.
As Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry reveled in the joy that comes with winning a first NBA championship, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh slunk away into the depths of the arena -- away from the media scrutiny and away from the pressure that they foolishly thought they could handle.
"Tonight," Terry said after the game, "we got vindication."
And that was it. For all of the talk about how this wasn’t revenge for 2006 and how these Mavs didn’t care about what happened way back then, at his most honest, Terry admitted that Sunday’s 105-95 victory was all the more triumphant because of what happened five years ago. He wouldn’t have let history repeat itself this time around, no matter what. Losing was not an option.
It was a somewhat forgettable game for Dirk, much like Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals was for Los Angeles Lakers superstar -- and that year's Finals MVP -- Kobe Bryant. Nowitzki finished 9-of-27 for 21 points, but he didn’t need to carry the load thanks to another monster performance from Terry. Off the bench, the man who confidentially tattooed an NBA championship onto his bicep before the year even began came through big once more with 27 points for the day.
LeBron, on the other hand, continued his stunning “shrinking” trend with yet another lackluster performance. The numbers were there -- 21 points for the game -- but he didn’t score his first basket of the second half until a little under two minutes remained in the third quarter.
Wade finished the game with 17 points on a 6-of-16 showing, not offering much help in the mission to save Miami from an early summer vacation.
Now, the Heat will have to think about what happens next. Will this core be enough to win a title next season? Or, like so many other championship contenders, will their hopes depend on what adjustments they can make during the offseason?
Weigh in below. Is Miami, as presently constructed, good enough to win a title in 2012?
Also, check out why LeBron James is a disgusting human being HERE.