All the Heat win over the Celtics in Game 7 last night did was allow Miami to avoid the humiliation of an exit before they even got to the Finals.
In other words, the expectations remain the same: Championship or failure.
There is no consolation prize for LeBron for playing out of his mind -- inarguably the greatest stretch of games of his career and one of the great individual efforts by any player in the playoffs in NBA history.
And so we get Heat-Thunder, LeBron vs. Durant (and Westbrook vs. Wade... and Harden vs. Bosh... and rabid OKC fans vs. languid Miami fans... and the idea of Durant's first title -- a la Jordan in '91 -- versus LeBron's first title... and the star who left his hometown versus the team that left its hometown.)
It is a best-case scenario for the league and for fans -- two great teams, out-of-this-world star power, with a championship that will resonate through history.
But let's just keep in mind: The axis still revolves around LeBron -- either he fails (again) or he wins his first championship. That is the biggest story.
*Pacquiao-Bradley ends in stunner: Fishy ending? You bet. Good for boxing? Not even close. Will it increase interest in a rematch in November? Yes.
*NHL: What is the difference between the Devils being down 3-0 then muscling it back to 3-2 heading into Game 6 and the Devils winning two of the first four, but losing Game 5? If anything, the momentum shift -- at the risk of pop psychology, it sure seems like the Devils are playing like they have nothing to lose and the Kings are playing like they have everything to lose -- seems to favor the Devils in Game 6.
*Condolences to the Auburn community on the tragic shootings.
Big week ahead. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.