[Notes: Thanks to all who joined in on our live online chat today. Terrific response. Click HERE to join us Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m., to read past transcripts or to post questions any time. Main Heat-Mavs/NBA Finals post is directly below this in blog. Bodog.com's new 2012 title odds have Heat the favorite at 5-2].
WHY JUDGING THIS HEAT SEASON IS A DIFFICULT TASK: Was it championship-or-bust all along for the Miami Heat? Is that fair? Based on expectations the team set for itself, maybe that is fair. Time for you to decide. Click on Year 2 Pressure Will Be Greater for today's latest column by me, and on Heat, LeBron Have Just Begun for my Tuesday column. Now have your say. In separate polls here, we invite you to rate this season on a scale of success to failure, and then to identify the main reason Heat fans are measuring their disappointment today instead of preparing for a Game 7.
See a breakdown of who's voting and how below the two polls in this post.
POLL 1: RATE SEASON ON SCALE OF SUCCESS TO FAILURE: There truly are two ways to look at it. Feeling generous? You think getting past Boston and Chicago and reaching the Finals in Year 1 is pretty damned good. Can't get past the disappointment? You think the season is an ultimate failure based on grand expectations set by the team itself. Vote now and say why.
POLL 2: WHY DID MIAMI LOSE IN THE FINALS?: Pinning blame, finding fault, call it what you want. Miami lost for a reason. What was it? What happened? Vote now and elaborate in a comment.
POLL ANALYSIS: Heat fans/South Floridians are a plurality but far from an overall majority in voting so far, this being the World Wide Web and all. Therefore results overall are not nearly as positive/optimistic as they would be if voting were confined to Greater Miami. Votes have poured in from 48 countries so far. As of earlier this morning the top five U.S. states in total votes were Florida (630), Texas (573), California (413), Ohio (340) and Illinois (188). Which of course indicates that bunches of Mavericks and Cavaliers fans are weighing in. How is the overall vote impacted? Small example: To the first poll question, Floridians are voting that the season was a success for the first year, with a plurality of 36 percent, while Ohioans are calling it a failure based on expectations by an 84% landslide. To the second question, 37% of Florida voters blame LeBron for coming up small, vs. 81% of Ohio voters. Bottom line: Results in the two polls reflect more of a national viewpoint that is decidedly more negative than how Heat fans feel.
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