Per the NY Times:
On Monday night at TD Garden, the Eastern Conference championship trophy for the NBA had made its way to the other team’s locker room. The trophy, a sterling silver replica of a basketball, was displayed atop a few packing trunks with metallic trim. The Miami Heat had earned it through a humbling 103-84 victory against the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the conference finals.
Before a late-night flight to Denver, where they will play the Nuggets for the NBA title beginning Thursday, players and staff members stood in front of the trophy while wearing N.B.A. finals hats and T-shirts to commemorate the team’s heroic struggle.
Everyone except the Heat was stunned by their resurgence as the East’s No. 8 seed. Coach Erik Spoelstra stayed with his plan even though the team was struggling throughout the regular season and losing almost as frequently as they were winning. They could get better, according to Spoelstra, if they kept their attention on the tasks at hand. It consisted of getting together after discouraging defeats, watching movies, and working hard in the gym.
“I think probably people can relate to this team,” Spoelstra said. “Professional sports is just kind of a reflection sometimes of life, that things don’t always go your way. The inevitable setbacks happen, and it’s how you deal with that collectively. There’s a lot of different ways that it can go: It can sap your spirit. It can take a team down, for whatever reason.
“With this group, it’s steeled us and made us closer and made us tougher.”