The Miami Heat needed a hero. They got a dragon.
But first, it's worth recounting how they got there. Friday night, it was Dwyane Wade’s majestical feats of awesomeness in a win-or-go-home game in Charlotte that put the Heat in yet another Game 7 this past Sunday. The Heat went into the game with the Hornets alive and well, having weathered a three-game losing streak, abysmal officiating, and a purple-shirted douchebro’s endless taunts.
Wade wasn’t going to let his squad wilt — not against a team made up of a guy with one foot, man buns, and Kemba Walker’s Amazing Shots That Go in No Matter What Ridiculous Angle He Shoots Them From. Not against some of the worst officiating the NBA Playoffs have ever produced. Not against Jeremy Lin taking advantage of said ass-crack officiating to turn himself into Michael Jordan circa 1997. Not against Purple Shirt Guy.
Wade wasn’t going to be dissuaded by something as pathetic as Jeremy Lin’s man bun drawing phantom fouls and this dipshit. A man who, incidentally, actually believes he had something to do with the Hornets winning games 3, 4, and 5. So Wade personally kicked any hopes of the Heat losing Game 6 headfirst into a ditch and promptly introduced Purple Shirt Guy's asshole to his fist a few dozen times.
Yet even though the Legend of Dwyane Wade had successfully killed the shit out of Purple Shirt Guy and the Hornets in Game 6, there was still a matter of having to close things out in Game 7 at home Sunday.
The question was, who would step in after Wade’s heroics? Who would be the closer?
Following Games 1 and 2 of this series, we were all living superterrific happy times. The Heat put up historic offensive numbers in those games, and it appeared this series was well on its way to being a good old-fashioned kick in the pantaloons. But the Hornets responded to Miami’s onslaught by giving the Heat the collective finger, throwing up and making bananas shots and getting rescued by the referees time and time again in games 3, 4, and 5.
The Hornets even somehow stole one in Miami.
So who would be Sunday’s hero?
The answer was Goran Dragic, who not only stomped Lin and Walker’s balls with his face-melting crossovers and ability to attack the paint, but also led the Heat to a 30-point blowout the likes of which even the San Antonio Spurs responded, "Daaaaaaaaayum."
Dragic had been a nonfactor all series. But apparently a Hobbit tried to steal his gold over the weekend, and the Dragon awoke. He proceeded to absolutely wreck the Hornets defense with this femur-cracking crossover that sucked Courtney Lee and Frank Kaminsky into a parallel universe, never to be heard from again.
Dragic was even able to torch the Charlotte defense into cinders by flushing down the whitest dunk your eyes shall ever behold.
Gragic scorched the Hornets with a 17-point first half Sunday, and 25 points overall, as the Heat opened a can and force-fed Charlotte to the tune of a 106-73 series-clinching beatdown.
Dragic is well aware he had contracted a serious case of suck in the first several games of this series, and chalked the change up to positive thinking — even in the face of atrocious officiating.
“Sometimes you’re going to be in a tough situation, or in my situation you are going to get a couple quick fouls,” he told the media after Game 7. “I didn’t get a lot of rhythm in the first four games. You just need to stay positive, and when that moment comes, you need to be ready to help your team.”
Afterward, Wade sang of Goran's heroics: "We love when he is aggressive. He wants to be so great all the time, and I think he puts a lot of pressure on himself. A game like tonight, he just saw it and was in that mindset that he was just going to keep going and going.”
Goran Dragic is fire.
The Hornets were no match for him, and the Heat is on its way to the Eastern Conference semis.
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And Jeremy Lin's insufferable ability to win over the refs? That finally ran its course as well.