The Miami Heat joined very elite company Friday night when the team won a fourth straight Eastern Conference championship title by beating the Indiana Pacers.
The Heat became just the third franchise in NBA history to ever make it to four straight NBA Finals joining the Boston Celtics (1957-1966; 1984-1987) and the Los Angeles Lakers (1982-1985). But Miami is far from done and is poised to join an even more elite group by winning three straight championships.
The last two teams to make it to four straight NBA Finals, the Lakers and Celtics in the 1980’s, won two championships during their four year runs. Miami already has two championships in the can and could three-peat with a victory in the 2014 NBA Finals.
The teams that have won three-straight championships included some of the greatest players in the history of the game, names like: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant.
The Heat is now on the cusp of joining that elite group if the team can knock off the eventual Western Conference champion, either the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder. Coincidentally, the Spurs and Thunder are the two teams Miami has beaten the last two seasons to win its two straight championships.
The Spurs and Heat have played each other seven times dating back to 2011 and Miami has won five of the seven games, including four last year in the NBA Finals. The Heat and Thunder have played eight times dating back to 2011 and Miami has a 5-3 record against Oklahoma City, including four wins in the 2012 NBA Finals.
Whoever wins in the Western Conference will be facing a Miami Heat juggernaut that is peaking as the team hits the NBA Finals.
How good was the Heat in the Game 6 victory over the Pacers? With eight minutes to go in the game, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade had a combined 63 points. The entire Pacers team had 67 points.
Miami will get the next five days to rest before the NBA Finals get started next week with Game 1 either in Oklahoma City or San Antonio.