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The Day After

Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Mar 18 2011 @ 2:03 pm In Miami Heat | 1 Comment

     It’s amazing what beating a couple of elite teams can do for your confidence.  The Heat lost a game at home on Wednesday night, but all day Thursday was calm.  There wasn’t any sense of panic coming from Miami players.  Talk radio wasn’t barraged with potential GM’s wanting to fire Eric Spoelstra.  How things change.  Just a week ago, if you lived in South Florida, you might have thought that the sky was falling, or at the very least, you would have suspected that the Heat were 5 games out of the final playoff spot.  Losing breeds panic, but winning, especially when those wins come at the expense of the Lakers and the Spurs, inspires confidence.  Then when that loss comes, a loss in which none of your star players play well, fans and the media actually become rational and realize that no matter how good a team is, 82-0 will never happen.

     Now Miami gets to prepare for the playoffs.  Do they have a shot at the #1 seed?  Yes, but it is very unlikely given that both Boston and Chicago hold the tiebreaker against the Heat.  The best thing Miami can do is to continue to play with confidence and beat the teams remaining on their schedule who they might see again.  They still have to face Atlanta(twice), Charlotte, Philadelphia, and of course the Heat also get one more chance to play the Celtics.  Obviously, that game against Boston is the biggest contest until the playoffs begin.  I don’t care what anybody says, you do not want to drop a game at home, against a team that you have yet to beat and will most certainly have to beat in a 7-game series, if you plan on winning a championship. 

     The keys to continued success for Miami are pretty simple.  Chris Bosh has been a bigger contributer since coming out publicly about a week ago and he needs to continue to get the ball down low.  Dwyane Wade has reestablished himself as the leader of this team.  He needs to continue to take control of games down the stretch and LeBron will be used a huge weapon, just not the “General” or decision maker.  Finally, the role players must continue with the progress they have made.  Mario Chalmers has been playing much better, Mike Miller is getting some shots to drop, and for the first time all year, Jamaal Magloire has been contributing real minutes, along with a few points and rebounds.  It has taken longer than most people would have thought or liked, but the Miami Heat are coming together.  One of those key Eastern Conference games before the playoffs happens tonight in Atlanta.

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