The methodical, flashy, fearless and subsequential killer instincts of the Miami Heat make their play on the court mirror that of a classic Matador.
The players of the Miami Heat arrive at the United Center dressed in decadent designer clothes, tasting blood and dressed to kill, much like a Matador entering the arena in his eccentric decor. Dwyane Wade may not be considered "Flash" due to his play nowadays, but instead, due to his flashy attire. In order to be flashy though, you must earn it. You earn it with each win and each scar. You win over fans with the bravery of your opponent coupled with your bravery to win, and skill in doing so. It is in the pride endured in battle that makes the bull-fight and true enjoyment of winning that makes a great team.
The Miami Heat have been in a bull-fight with the Chicago Bulls all season long. Undermanned and at a disadvantage, this Bulls team has showed power and instinct to defy all odds. They represent everything that a raging bull would. In game one they entered the AA Arena in full stride, blasting through the gates enraged. Much to the dismay of the crowd and the matador, the bull won. The bull fought with more heart and determination, leaving the matador to be carried away with his wounds. But in a bull-fight it sometimes means death for the matador but it means that in almost every case that he will sooner more than later be grievously wounded. If he is in fact a good matador it means that he must go to the very brink of death every time he steps into the arena to put on a performance. The Heat are the latter. They understand that the basketball court is no place for skill without risk and they continue to prove to us they are the "Greatest Show on Earth".
The Bulls left game one with a victory but they seemed like unsuspecting prey in game two. Were this series, much to the malign of the of Bulls, inevitably came to an end, with the Heat catching on fire and winning by their largest playoff margin, ultimately handing the Bulls their largest margin defeat en route. The Bulls appeared spiritually and mentally defeated after that and they never recovered. Nothing changed in game three.
Now enter game four.
Directing the Bulls everywhere they wanted, flaunting with ease and showing no sense of letting up the Miami Heat continued their dominance. With each shot made, with each rebound possessed and with every ticking minute the Heat dismantled the Bulls yet again. The job of the matador is to put on a show, weakening the bull as it does so. He steps fearlessly close to the bull as it passes and strategically stabs the bull in the neck to prevent it from rearing its horns upwards and goring him whilst doing so. Every time Cole hit a three, the head of the bull got lower. Every time Bosh hit a mechanical jumper, the head of the beast got even lower. And every time, Lebron James the most dominant player in the world even touched the ball tonight, the head of the bull didn't flinch, but understood it's end was near. The heads of the Chicago Bulls players stayed down as they walked off the court, fatigued, defeated and ready for the inevitable exit from the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Culturally bull-fighting is considered taboo. But to the true aficionado of the sport it is considered an art form.
Stories in the NBA are made, than written in a metaphorical sense to remind us of its pureness. And nothing is more notable then on March 27th when the Chicago Bulls ended the Miami Heat's 27-game winning streak. It was the beginning of a short novel that might be the most exciting of the series. But on Wednesday, May 15th in Miami, this novel will be finished.
A stat line does not define a season, a game nor pure will to win. No stat tonight had any meaning. The Miami Heat is a team that is to often pressed to a number instead of a story line.
And this series had plenty of stories. With one more chapter to be written, one more fatal blow awaits. And the flashy, strategic Miami Heat will move on to their next prey. With one goal in mind - to be crowned World Champions for the second time in row and cap what very well might be the best two years of LeBron James' historic career.