"Then the Heat had to go and screw everything up by making the Finals. Had they just put up a good fight in the next-to-last round, but then lost in respectable fashion, we would’ve been forced to grudgingly acknowledge their progress and perhaps concede that a title this year was a bit of a reach. Heat hate had become less tenable, with all the team had done to establish a rhythm and a passable reputation, mostly through its play. That team was pure basketball, and it would slip right through your fingers. Then came the Finals, which meant a chance to throw all that away. Because that’s the way sports works."