What an incredible roller-coaster ride the Miami Heat took us on this season, filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, and in the end, utter satisfaction. It's rare that a sequel out-awesomes the original, but the 2013 Miami Heat season did just that. It was The Dark Knight of NBA seasons for Miami Heat fans -- a sequel that has us craving a trilogy.
In the words of Samuel Smiles: "The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved."
The struggle really is what makes it fun. Well, it's easy to come to that conclusion now, anyway. Nobody will remember Miami's first-round sweep of Milwaukee. In fact, the only thing you might remember from that series is Brandon Jennings' "Bucks in Six" prediction. Some of the downs that Heat fans experienced this season subconsciously are what they craved, because it provides a chance for you to get behind something, defend something, believe in something at its worst point, even when everything and everyone on the outside is telling you it's not worth believing in anymore. In a way, it's like picking up a family member or friend when they need you the most.
Like Al Pacino's character Walter Abrams in the movie Two for the Money said: "I never feel better than when they're raking the chips away -- not bringing them in." It sounds irrational, but being sports fan is irrational. I mean, really deep in my heart I believe what cup I drink from affects the Miami Heat's performance, and it's so much fun.
All that "I need to feel pain to appreciate pleasure" stuff is fine and dandy, as long as you get the pleasure in the end. Along the way, the highs outnumbered the lows, and let me tell you it was a real bitch narrowing it down to just the ten best moments. So without further ado, your top ten moments of the 2012-13 Miami Heat championship season.
10. Miami Heat Harlem Shake
Hey, I said moments, not plays. Things like this are what makes this team different and what makes them the most fun team to follow in sports. Not many teams could pull this off, or want to for that matter, but it fit the personality of this Heat team. They don't care what you think, and you can't stop them from having fun while they are kicking your ass.
9. Bosh beats the Spurs
Little did we know, huh? This was one of the most enjoyable games of the season, much like the Atlanta game in 2012 where Wade and LeBron also sat and Bosh drained a three at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. The beauty of this team is it's filled top to bottom with "Miami Heat guys" who embrace the franchises culture and stay prepared to contribute, whenever that might be.
8. LeBron saves the streak versus Orlando
In any other season, a loss to Orlando late in the year wouldn't have been a big deal, but in this case a streak was on the line. In the end, you have to imagine games like this were good for the Heat, because the team would face similar situations later in the year.
7. "The Comeback" Heat erases a 27-point second-half deficit versus the Cavs
The Heat was getting its ass handed to it by your local LA Fitness dudes -- until Miami opened the entire can of ass on the Cavs in the third quarter. The Heat trailed 67-40 with 7:44 to go in the third and then proceeded to outscore the Cavs 58-28 in the final 19-plus minutes to win the game, Miami's 24th in a row at the time. The collapse was the largest in the Cavs' 43-year history.
6. LeBron ends Jason Terry
RIP, Jason Terry. The passing in a five-second span here is out of this world, and it all ends with LeBron James canceling Jason Terry's life. The Celtics were never the same after this, and Terry has yet to pee the same since being run over by a Fiat named LeBron.
5. LeBron's jumper beats Celtics, gives Heat 23rd straight victory.
The game before the Cavs comeback was pretty damn exciting as well. As I mentioned above, it's as if the Heat just twisted its foot on the Celtics this season. They are trying to break it up right now because they are well aware nothing their team can do will come close to challenging the Heat -- I mean, they couldn't even beat the Knicks. This game was a dagger and a nice win for the Heat.
4. LeBron rejects Tiago Splitter
This play defied comprehension. Whatever happened to Jason Terry, this was the complete opposite.
3. LeBron's Game 1 OT buzzer-beater versus the Pacers
Instead of a crushing defeat to open the series, the Heat came out with the Game 1 win, something we would later find out was way more important than we even figured. I will never understand how LeBron does so much in 2.2 seconds.
2. "The Shot"
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1. The Miami Heat repeat as world champions
So those are my top ten moment. There are easily ten others left on the cutting-room floor that are nearly as memorable as these. The party is over, but the memories of this season will last a lifetime. The most successful season in Miami Heat history was truly one hell of a ride.