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Dr. Heimlich, please report to South Beach

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  June 6, 2012 08:30 AM

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Not one...

Maybe we can stop there.

How the Celtics came to this crossroads against the Miami Heat is beyond me. One week ago today, the Boston fell into an 0-2 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals, despite a game for the ages from Rajon Rondo, and even with the assumption they would take Game 3 at home at the Garden, scant few held out hope for an eventual NBA Finals appearance.

Now, here they are, on the cusp of returning thanks to a deliciously imploding mess in South Beach.

All we need to know about the difference between the Celtics' and Heat's championship-driven pedigree was summed up in one gorgeous moment during the fourth quarter of Boston's 94-90 Game 5 win last night in Miami.


The Heat are cooked not because of a lack of talent, something they possess more than 98 percent of the rest of the league, but because of an inability to understand what it means to win. "Heart of a Champion" may be a bit of a cliché, but how else would you describe it? Dwyane Wade seemingly had it at one point in his career. What happened?

Oh. Right.

To compare LeBron James to the likes of Peyton Manning and Alex Rodriguez - athletes who have historically gagged in the biggest moments in his career - is downright unfair to Manning. A-Rod? Knock yourself out.

Pierce's pivotal three was as much another dramatic moment for future rafter inductee as it was indicative of LeBron's game. Despite a 30-point, 13-rebound night, LeBron will simply be remembered in Game 5 for this, and this only.

No, go ahead. Watch it again. Watch it all day.

The country, not just Boston, rejoiced.

A lot has been made about Kevin Garnett possibly retiring after this season should he win a second title with the Celtics. But maybe there's a secondary mission under his belt as well. If Boston wins Thursday night, Erik Spoelstra might not have his job past midnight. There are already rumors that Chris Bosh could be traded to possibly make room for Dwight Howard, and maybe even Wade realizes he's tired of what he signed up for when he recruited James to Miami. What if Garnett goes out not only a champion, but was also partly responsible for blowing up the most hated NBA team in a generation?

Good effort. Good job.

Not remarkably, that's all that really matters in Miami. Good lesson for anyone under 10. And LeBron, apparently.

"I think we played good enough to give ourselves a chance to win, and that's all you can ask for," James said afterward, the now-infamous young Miami fan perhaps getting his message across.

Maybe that's part of the problem. LeBron is an immature superstar stuck in a vortex of
money-grubbing agents and fawning media suckups. It's sort of difficult to be yourself and grow into an adult and strive for true heights when you've had others praising your greatness since you were 13. Why even feel the need to grow up?

For all his talent, LeBron remains a petulant, spoiled child. And when children go up against champions and face adversity, they simply don't have any shot.

Not one. Not two. Not...

Easy to talk. But this child still hasn't learned to walk yet, and the only thing more surprising than the way this series has turned would be if the Celtics allow him to figure it out in time for Thursday night.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.


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