Quantcast
Latest Stories

Even huge deficits aren’t derailing the Heat


Miami Heat’s Norris Cole, left, Udonis Haslem (40) and Rashard Lewis, right, celebrate from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Cleveland. Miami won 98-95. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

MIAMI — For the Miami Heat, it has been anything but an ordinary path along the way to this extraordinary 24-game winning streak.

There have been blowouts, buzzer-beaters and now a pair of huge second-half rallies. Or, as Dwyane Wade would call it all …

“Fun,” the Heat guard said.

These days, everything – even huge deficits – seems like fun for the reigning NBA champions, who haven’t lost a game in nearly two months. And this week has brought perhaps the two most scintillating additions to the league’s second-longest winning streak ever, now nine shy of matching the Los Angeles Lakers of 1971-72 for the top spot on that list.

They were down by 17 in Boston on Monday, then trailed by 27 in Cleveland on Wednesday. Somehow, someway, the streak lived on both times, and Miami now has a chance at consecutive win No. 25 on Friday night when they play host to the Detroit Pistons – a team that has lost nine in a row.

“Faith,” said Heat forward Shane Battier, whose 3-pointers helped spark the comeback in Cleveland. “We have a lot of faith in each other, a lot of faith of what we can do. When we give the effort and the concentration, we can do some pretty amazing things. We don’t want to keep proving that. We’ll take a more consistent effort versus turning the jets on when we have to, but I’m proud of the resolve of this team.”

Apparently, so are those 1971-72 Lakers. At least, some of them are.

Heat President Pat Riley played for that 33-in-a-row club, so it’s a safe bet that he’s thrilled to see history possibly repeating itself with him being part of it again. And on Thursday, NBA legend Jerry West – another part of that Lakers team – made clear that he’s enjoying watching this Heat run as well.

“It may not end,” West said. “That’s why I think it’s so remarkable.”

During this stretch of 24 straight victories, the Heat have not trailed at any point in the second half on 10 occasions. In 13 of their previous 14 games before the trip to Boston, they never faced even a double-digit deficit, the lone exception being when they trailed the New York Knicks by 16 points at Madison Square Garden before pulling off a comeback.

In their past 11 games before Boston, Miami’s fourth-quarter deficits – combined – were 22 points. Against the Celtics and Cavs alone, the combined Heat deficits in the fourth quarter were, again, 22 points.

So dizzying was the comeback that, when it was over, Wade wasn’t sure about the streak’s length.

“What are we at, 24 games?” Wade asked. “You start losing count.”

And it remains anyone’s guess when the Heat will lose another game.

The end sure looked like it arrived on Wednesday, when Heat trailed 67-40 at Cleveland in the third quarter. A tad over 12 minutes – basically, the length of one NBA quarter – later, a 45-12 run had given Miami an 85-79 lead.

Afterward, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra revealed the not-very-elaborate strategy behind the comeback: Make shots at one end, get stops at the other.

“That’s part of their greatness,” Spoelstra said. “Great competitors making big shots like that, that’s just us stepping back and letting them do their thing.”

Spoelstra did more stepping back after that comeback in Cleveland. Not only did Miami get Thursday off from practice, but the Heat also will not hold their customary game-day shootaround Friday morning, likely opting instead for an afternoon walkthrough before the game against the Pistons – a game that, late Thursday, was added to NBA TV’s broadcast schedule because of the interest in the streak.

With 18 games in March, Spoelstra was concerned about how to get through the rigors of such a jampacked month. The team has largely given up practices in recent weeks, opting instead for rest, with shootarounds being the primary method of gameplanning. Given how Miami was able to rally against both Boston and Cleveland – at the end of a road trip, no less – it seems like Heat legs are fairly fresh right now.

“Every team is going to give us a good shot, no matter their record, no matter who’s out on the floor,” said James, who had a triple-double in Cleveland, surely to the dismay of his former hometown fans. “We’re going to get their best and we should enjoy that. We should embrace that.”

James found a way to deliver when Miami needed him most on Wednesday. He didn’t have a great shooting night and still wound up with 19 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks in the second half alone against the Cavs. Other than the reigning MVP, only three players in the league have put up those stats in a full game this season.

“Us as a team,” James said, “we can make a run.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: Heat , Miami , NBA , winning streak



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  2. Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  3. Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  4. Martino defends Messi, takes blame for Barca fail
  5. MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  6. Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  7. Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  8. My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  9. Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  10. Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  1. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
  2. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
  3. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
  4. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
  5. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
  6. Pacquiao punching power ‘way harder’ in first fight—Bradley
  7. Wrestling star Ultimate Warrior’s cause of death revealed
  8. My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  9. Pacquiao survives sneaky haymaker in 4th round
  10. Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  1. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
  2. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
  3. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
  4. Mayweather surprise visitor to Bradley camp
  5. Bradley won’t last distance– Peñalosa
  6. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
  7. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley
  8. Pacquiao punching power ‘way harder’ in first fight—Bradley
  9. Wrestling star Ultimate Warrior’s cause of death revealed
  10. Tapering off: Pacquiao already at 147 lb

News

  • Aquino: ‘Doubting Thomases’ now contributing to PH recovery
  • Fire engulfs apartments in Sampaloc
  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels release hostage
  • New meaning of Easter in Samar
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace