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Links: Miami Heat surges past Boston Celtics to advance to NBA Finals

Smile while you can, fellas.
Smile while you can, fellas.

Sunday links:

  • The Celtics hung tough with the Heat into the fourth quarter but faded down the stretch as LeBron James took over and muscled his squad into the NBA Finals for the second-straight year, putting to rest questions of whether Miami's Big 3 would be broken up in the offseason but doing little to reduce the pressure on them to win a championship. Recaps: [SB Nation | SI | Washington Post | Daily Dime | Ball Don't Lie | AP]
  • Meanwhile, Game 7 likely marked the end of an era in Boston. [ESPN Boston | HoopsWorld]
  • Primarily because Kevin Durant is an uber-popular superstar and LeBron James is an uber-hated one, most will cast Thunder vs. Heat as Good vs. Evil, respectively. But Tom Ziller questions which franchise took the more respectable road to the NBA Finals. [SB Nation]
  • LeBron James played the best basketball of his career in the Eastern Conference Finals, but none of it will matter if his team doesn't down the Thunder in the NBA Finals. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Chris Bosh proved his true worth last night. [ESPN]
  • Dwyane Wade's Game 7 was in step with his performances, and those of his team, throughout the last two series: Start slow, finish fast. [Heat Index]
  • Jeremy Lamb and Jared Sullinger ended up tied in the initial vote for No. 8 on our Community Draft Board, but you guys sided with the wing player in the run-off poll.
  • Mike linked to this yesterday, a nice analysis of how some of the bigger prospects in the 2012 NBA Draft measured out at the combine. [DraftExpress]
  • More combine notes. [SB Nation]
  • Not sure how old these are, but here's some video of CSN Washington's Chris Miller chatting at the combine with Thomas Robinson and the Washington Post's Michael Lee, who thinks Beal will be the pick at No. 3.
  • Eric Gordon sounds prepared to stay with the Hornets if the money is right, but his hometown Pacers could look to make a play depending on what they do with Roy Hibbert and George Hill. [AP]