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Running of the Bulls . . .

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The Miami Heat should be thankful that the Chicago Bulls ended their winning streak.

Now they can put the focus on where it should have been in the first place and that is in repeating as NBA Champions.

The Heat players seemed to have been caught in the frenzy created by the media’s constant barrage of coverage and comparison to the record of thirty-three consecutive wins set by the 72 Los Angeles Lakers.

Heat’s president Pat Riley, who was a member of that 72 team, avoided commenting on the streak. Perhaps he, like most of us, realized that nothing less than a championship would be considered a wasted season.

The prognosticators got this one right. They predicated that either the Bulls or the San Antonio Spurs had a legitimate shot to end Miami’s streak.

Miami’s coach, Erik Spoelstra, along with members of his staff can now fix glaring weaknesses that have cropped up during the streak. His team’s penchant for falling behind early in games finally caught up to them.

He warned his team of the dogfight they would encounter in Chicago, as the Bulls jumped out to an early lead from the gate. The lead wasn’t  insurmountable when compared to 27 points they were down in Boston,  but the short-handed Bulls simply refused to relinquish it.

“It was never about the streak,” Spoelstra admonished. “It’s about, are we getting better?”

Apparently not, if you take into account that during the streak, Miami played from behind 11 times, entering the fourth quarter. There would be no late game heroics from LeBron James. No mock interviews from Dwayne Wade after the game. No joyful and playful interview interruptions by Chris Bosh.

Losing streaks can be nerve-racking, but winning streaks can have the same effect as well.  Evident by James’ frustration over the officiating and what he considered to be aggressive and unnecessary hard fouls by Bulls’ players.

If the Heat are to hoist another, Larry O’Brien trophy, then they should acknowledge the streak for what it was, just a serendipitous distraction on the way to the ultimate prize.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

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