It’s funny what a 24-game winning streak will do to people. No longer is the talk of another NBA Championship the dominant topic of conversation in South Florida. The idea of back-to-back titles has actually slipped back a little now that it appears Miami actually has a shot at what was considered an unbreakable record. Now the focus and the questions revolve around whether or not the Heat can break the early 70′s Lakers single season record of 33 straight wins, and if they do will that launch them in to the conversation as one of the best teams of all-time? The answers are yes and yes, although the second question is certainly more complicated.
If the Heat win 34 or 35 games in a row, but fail to win another title this year, then the season will be considered a failure. Let’s face it, nobody outside of Shane Battier really remembers the Houston Rockets winning 22 straight games back in 2007-08. But if Miami breaks the record and successfully defends their NBA Title, then yes they will be in the discussion of “best teams of all-time”. Yes, this team that was put together around three superstars has actually defined the team concept more than any team in the league. For instance, as well as DWade and LeBron have played during the streak, both guys have had off nights, but somebody has always picked up the slack, whether it’s the other guy or simply another guy, like Mario Chalmers or Ray Allen. The bottom line is that Miami finds a way to win.
Defense. That was Pat Riley’s calling card, and it is definitely Eric Spoelstra’s as well. When the Heat turn up the defense they are as good as any team in the last 30 years. I maintain that Wade and James are the modern day equivalent of Jordan and Pippen, except that the Heat stars fall in between the Bulls’ Hall of Famers. Both Heaters are better than Scottie, but neither is as good as MJ. That’s ok, what we are looking at right now is the best teams of all-time and Miami will be in that discussion if they break the record and repeat.
The Heat have been playing great defense and moving the ball phenomenally in the offensive set. They have looked like far and away the best team, not just in the east, but in the entire league. There is also little question that LeBron James is playing the best basketball of his career, not that his play in Cleveland was bad at any time All of that said, the Heat are not a lock to win at all. Bron didn’t start playing clutch until the end of the Boston series last year, and the health of Wade is seemingly always in question. At this point maybe the question is “Can they get the record?” Well, they can take a step towards that by not falling behind by 27 points to a team like Cleveland on the road.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).