The Miami Heat's seemingly cursed 2014-15 regular season is mercifully clanging toward the finish line, and there's surprisingly more gas left in the tank than most Heat fans would have expected. Despite a crushing one-point loss to the Bucks last night, the Heat are still clinging on to the seventh slot in the Eastern Conference. And if the playoffs started today, that means they'd draw LeBron James and his second-seeded Cavaliers.
To that, Heat fans should say just one thing: bring it on, LBJ.
Not on board with wanting a Heat-Cavs first round match-up? Perhaps I can change you mind. Here's why Heat fans should be rooting for Miami to stick in that seventh slot with about two weeks of regular season left to go.
Ending the LeBron James homecoming season would be a borderline sexual experience.
You know what they say about the lottery: if you don't buy a ticket, you really have no shot. Sure, the Cavaliers are most likely the most talented opponent the Heat could possibly face in the playoffs; but the payoff if they were able to beat them is only rivaled by an NBA championship in 2015 — and we all know that's not exactly a realistic goal for this season. If the Heat are going to punch a ticket to the postseason, why not put all the money on the long shot and let it ride?
Bet big to win big. Eventually the house is going to rake in all the Heat's chips this season. I'd personally rather go all-in once, then play with house money the rest of the postseason.
Heat vs. Raptors would not exactly be a heated rivalry
Who is their right mind would rather see the Heat take on Jonas Valanciunas and the Toronto Raptors over the team attempting to serve LeBron James a cold dish full of the ultimate revenge? That's crazy talk. This isn't most seasons where you want to face the lesser seed, thus improving your chances to survive and advance. This season is sponsored by salt. This is all about sticking it in LeBron James, by any means necessary. Beating the nondescript Toronto Raptors, or more likely, losing to the Toronto Raptors, does nothing but help the Cavs.
The Heat play the Cavaliers well because of their anger.
You've seen it already twice this season: the Miami Heat bring their ass-kicking, steel-toed work boots when the Cavaliers are in town — that's no coincidence. The Miami Heat roster might be full of guys that weren't here the past few years, but they all know what facing LeBron James means to the franchise. It's been obvious in the Heat's two wins over the Cavs this season that the Miami Heat play their best basketball on days LeBron James is the opponent. The atmosphere has driven the Heat's older players, and that will only increase when the playoffs roll around.
Dwyane Wade vs. LeBron James: The Twilight Years
You just don't know when it will be the last time you see these two at full-strength against one-another, it's already to the point where it's not what it once was; so why not get it possibly seven times over a two-week span? Sign me up for that instead of Heat versus Hawks. In the Heat's two wins against the Cavs this season Wade has scored 32 and 31 points. In the loss against the Cavs, Wade didn't play.
Wade said this week that this is the best he has felt in years. His health is like the Olympics at this point: It comes around every four-years, so why not take advantage of it now? Wade has averaged 29.1 points and shot 53 percent from the field over the last seven games; this is the time to get the match-up we will all be reminiscing about in five years.
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SHOW ME HOW
Beating the Cavs would be the biggest statement the Miami Heat have ever made.
Imagine if the Heat could eliminate LeBron James from the playoffs the first year after he ran from the team when times got tough; what a feather in the franchise's cap that would be. The Miami Heat are all about family and class, but third to those first two values is competitiveness; you will never outwork them.
If the Heat beat the Cavs with a team held together by duct tape and velcro, that would be the best ever example that the franchise just does it better than most. It would lead to hours-upon-hours of people murdering LeBron's decision, and while he is sent home, the Heat would be once again moving on in the tournament — with or without him. A Heat victory over the Cavs would be the best thing sans a championship this season, and for that matter, in the franchise's storied history.