Yes, the Heat fell victim to an epic comeback by the Mavericks in Game 2, but even with the gut-wrenching feeling that we had to endure while watching it happen, things could be worse. Yes, those 5+ minutes were just awful and I'm sure we'd all love to forget it ever happened, but things could be worse. Why? Because other then that awful few minutes that will undoubtedly stay in our memories like a splinter to the brain, Miami has been controlling this series.
They have figured out exactly how to play to neutralize the Mavs greatest threats, yes even Dirk Nowitzki for the most part. That's why these playoff series' are a best of seven, so the best team has a chance to persevere. That's very likely what is going to happen in this case because other then that unforgettable comeback, the Heat have been the better team.
When looking back at the last few minutes, as difficult as it is, Miami wasn't as bad as they were made out to be. They did get off a few good possessions, with LeBron getting to the rim but going a step too far, unable to get the ball over the front of the basket. Chris Bosh missed an open jumper and dribbled the ball off his foot, and Udonis missed an open look. Converting any of those plays could very well have stemmed the Mavs comeback.
Credit also has to go to Dallas. This wasn't the first time in this postseason that they have come back from a huge deficit in the last 5-6 minutes of a game. They wouldn't be here in the finals if they weren't able to execute the way that they did down the stretch. They also picked up the play on both ends and gave the Heat looks that they hadn't yet seen, which gave Miami them a lot of trouble on each side of the court. Heat fans just have to hope that they learn from this and continue to play as well as they have the majority of the playoffs.
You can also bet that the fans aren't the only one that have been affected by that comeback. The Heat themselves are certainly going to bear down and play with a focus that we haven't yet seen from this team. In the long run, that experience could end up having a positing influence on the team. This is a group that plans on competing for a championship for years to come.
An experience like this is something that can't be taught during a practice or in a video room, but it's the kind of thing that stays with a player well beyond the reaches of their career. Do you think that these guys, who we have seen grow and mature throughout the season right before our eyes, are ever going to let something like this happen again? Not a chance...and you better believe that they can control that.
These are world-class basketball players, some of the best that we will ever see. They know how to learn from experience, especially something like this. So while the loss stings, there is a very good chance that the Big 3, Erik Spoelstra and the rest of the team will take this one on the chin and move on to the next challenge, but they'll do it with a priceless, yet painful, lesson under their belt.