It’s hard for the Miami Heat to not look ahead
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
One game at a time has never taken on more meaning than it does now for the Miami Heat. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.
But it’s only human nature to wonder, what if? And the Heat can’t really escape that.
Skip past their next four games, starting today against the Cleveland Cavaliers, followed by the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic. Not one of those teams has more than 23 wins.
The Heat can snicker at that. After Monday’s 105-103 victory against the Boston Celtics, they have 23 wins in a row, second only to the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA consecutive record of 33.
The Heat don’t play a winning team again until next Wednesday at the Chicago Bulls. That could be intriguing, especially if former league MVP Derrick Rose is finally ready to play coming off last April’s devastating knee injury. Get past the Bulls and a game at the 22-46 New Orleans Hornets and standing in the way for a 30th win in a row will be the Spurs in San Antonio on March 31.
Now, we’re talking. And not even an April Fool’s game to sidetrack the defending NBA champs, who have won 12 at home, 11 on the road.
“We want to treat every day as a special opportunity to be with this group, to share these moments together, but more importantly to take a step closer to going after our goal,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says of their ultimate streak, two NBA titles in a row.
The Heat are hammering opponents with precision performances — see the March 10 105-91 dismantling of a contender for Miami’s title, the Indiana Pacers — and a flair for the dramatic. Monday, they rallied from 17 down against the Celtics, the winning margin coming on LeBron James’ jumper with 10.5 seconds left.
So let’s say the karma is with them as they enter April. They will be home April 2 against the struggling New York Knicks — will Carmelo Anthony be back from injury? — for what could be 31 consecutive wins. At Charlotte for No. 32 on April 5. And … [For more on It's hard for the Miami Heat to not look ahead, click here.]