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Miami Heat in a win-win situation thanks to Cleveland Cavs elimination

Thursday’s night will be remembered as a pivotal moment for the NBA for years to come and perhaps for the Miami Heat’s fortunes as well. Here’s a list of reasons why the Cleveland Cavalier’s loss may have been beneficial in more than just one way for the Heat. I’ve already discussed in detail why Lebron should at least consider joining forces with Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley. And that was when there was a strong sense that Lebron and company would find a way to win on the road in Game 6 and bring the series back home and then have a solid chance of slipping past the Celtics and face Orlando. Well, that didn’t happen and so the Cavs finish the season like they had started it, with a loss to the Celtics. Now the speculation can reach a fever pitch of epic proportions now that he is officially a free agent with zero championship rings to his name. While pundits and fans will now debate endlessly as to whether Lebron wants to somehow pump up his image even further by playing for New York, not making the playoffs or being sent home after the first round will be on the horizon should he move to the Big Apple and it will be déjà vu all over again for Lebron lest he forgets how he spent his first years in the NBA. If he can somehow rope in a max free agent such as Chris Bosh or another prime free agent like Carlos Boozer or Joe Johnson the Knicks would definitely have a shot to at least make the playoffs but getting to the Finals would take years to happen and it doesn’t really seem like James would want to go through a rebuilding process like that again. Nevertheless, it would benefit the Heat regardless because the Cavs would appear to be a lottery team without James, no better than a middling team like the Indiana Pacers or the Toronto Raptors, and that means one less elite Eastern team for the Heat to put up with in the regular season or in the playoffs. More parity in the East means potentially more wins for the Heat with the expected roster upgrades. Even if Lebron remains with the Cavs, the trade to bring in Antawn Jamison has hamstrung the front office in making any significant changes to their roster for next year. And if he should desire to go West, that’s just fine for the Heat who would only have to face him twice each year (unless they meet in the Finals). Chad Ford and apparently a few GMs like the idea of Lebron going to the Bulls. While personally I don’t see the point in going to another team so close to home that has always had the talent but not enough focus and drive to make deep runs into the playoffs, it would still be good news for the Heat. If the Bulls choose to put Wade on the backburner and instead go hard after Lebron and try to impress him by hiring John Calipari, then the Heat may as well shut down their new website because Wade wouldn’t accept being second in line to be wooed by the Bulls (and to a lesser extent the Knicks as well). Another immediate benefit for the Heat is that their playoff loss at the hands of the Celtics has been practically swept under the rug now that they’ve dispatched the best team in the NBA. Questions and criticisms from fans and media alike that the Celtics wouldn’t be able to flip a switch and become a dominant team in the playoffs has now been officially answered not with the victory over the Heat but over the Cavs which was a truer test for this aging team. After all, the only difference ultimately between the 47 win Heat and the 61 win Cavs is that the latter team was able to win one more game against the Celtics before being eliminated. The Heat for the most part at least put up a good fight to the end (putting aside the blowout loss on the road) despite the obvious talent differential. The Cavs got blown out at home twice and essentially gave up in the closing moments of Game 6 (and pretty much the entirety of Game 5), choosing not to foul the Celtics to get the ball back and having Mo Williams trotting up the court casually in their final possession in seemingly no hurry to at least attempt to extend their season further. Compare that to the memory of Wade at least trying to play his best in a valiant effort to keep the Heat’s hope alive and you can see that the Heat’s failure in the playoffs (in a "holding pattern" season where the media and NBA experts didn’t even pick them to make the postseason) doesn’t seem as heartbreaking when compared to all the pressure and expectations that the Cavs crumbled under.