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Range of emotions felt by Heat Nation during LeBron and Cavs playoff run

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How is a Heat fan supposed to feel while LeBron James leads his new/old team through the playoffs and hits buzzer-beaters?

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

With 1.5 seconds left on the clock, Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Cavaliers stood on the baseline, with the ball in hand and one thing on his mind.

He knew it, The Chicago Bulls and their fans knew it, the global audience knew it and, given the benefit of the doubt, maybe even David Blatt knew it. Certainly, with a more intimate knowledge than most, the good folks of Miami were anticipating the inevitable.

With a second and a half remaining, the ball would leave the hands of the fresh-faced Aussie and reach its target before being sent airborne again. While the fluid feed-catch-and-set all passed in an instant, the mechanics of time seemingly slowed to an agonising crawl from the precise moment the ball left LeBron James' fingertips.

When the ball eventually ruffled the net, the United Center in the Windy City finally exhaled with an audible groan, more deflated than a Tom Brady football.

So predictable. So certain.

However, as James wheeled away in celebration to be mobbed by his dysfunctional disciples, something happened I did not expect; I got a kick out of it. As I chuckled away to myself and muttered "son of a..." I kind of enjoyed it.

I wondered how many Miami Heat fans allowed themselves a little smirk when that jumper dropped on Sunday evening? If only from a knowing "Yep, there you go!" or a nostalgic "I sure do miss that!" perspective? It's probably more than they would care to admit it.

To me, it's weird watching LeBron James these days, mainly because I'm not 100% sure how I'm supposed to feel about him, if anything at all. The wound hasn't quite healed, but I still can't resist picking the scab. That's because beneath the scar tissue there's a perverse enjoyment to be taken from both the buzzer beaters and the bricks (of which there were plenty on Sunday).

I find myself cussin' at the television when that familiar ‘hard-done-by' grimace appears on his face, but nodding in approval when he picks up a head of steam and drives to the basket through traffic. I found myself defending him to an irate Bulls-supporting friend, understandably fed up of "being LeBron-ed" in the play-offs. I even took a little bit of gratification from assuring him Chicago will lose 4-2 now that James has his tail up.

Indeed, it's a strange sensation for Heat fans watching LeBron do LeBron things. There's still the underlying feeling of pride, but then a split second later you realise he's doing it for the Cleveland organization and that feeling ebbs away.

Then again some people will probably tell you they have no interest of feelings towards James or anything he does. Many readers might reject any softening of the ill feeling. However, seeing as this time last year Miami was on its way to a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance, the stark juxtaposition is unavoidable.

Last week I wrote extensively about sitting back and enjoying the NBA with the Heat out of the playoff picture. And I guess that's where I'm at with the Heat's former #6.

Through this roller coaster of emotions since July (that most people probably let go of by about December 26 at the latest), deep down, I'm back to feeling relatively positively about LeBron and most of the things he does.

I guess I wouldn't mind him eventually picking up a few more championships to add to the pair he won in South Florida. It's deserved and befitting.

Just as long as it's not in Cleveland, OK?