In what was a heart-stopping Game 7 that came down to the wire, the Miami Heat ultimately fell short in their bid to reach the NBA Finals after losing to the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.
And while an inspired Game 6 performance in the Eastern Conference finals showed the Heat’s heart and forced the seventh game of the series, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra lamented his team’s season ending “with a thud” while talking to reporters after the loss.
One of the worst parts? The Heat don’t get to see how they would fare against the Warriors in the Finals.
“... It feels heartbreaking,” Spoelstra told reporters. “We just wanted a crack at it. A crack at Golden State, and just find out, you know, as competitors.”
After Draymond Green picked the Celtics to win the series against the Heat last Thursday, Miami players came out firing against the Warriors star for the comment and thanked him for the motivation following their Game 6 win.
Veteran Heat forward Udonis Haslem went as far as saying Green “broke the code” by vocalizing his series pick.
With the drama leading up to Game 7 not only between the Heat and Celtics but between the Heat and Warriors as well, it’s no wonder Miami was eager to prove themselves capable against Green and Golden State.
“I love this group,” Spoelstra continued on Sunday. “This team was here to compete for a title. In that regard, I think we lived up to those expectations. But we fell short. We'll never know, and that's the part that we'll have to live with.”
For now, all the Heat can do is watch the Warriors and Celtics face off in Game 1 at Chase Center on Thursday and hope they can make it to the Finals next year.