THE HEAT ARE BACK!!!! Calm down people.
Yes the Miami Heat have won three and in impressive fashion. It started with a 94-88 win over the red-hot L.A. Lakers, then came a 118-85 blowout of playoff contender Memphis and then tonight might have been the most impressive of them all, a 110-80 whipping of the San Antonio Spurs.
This comes two weeks after the Heat went to Texas and got it handed to them by that same margin.
What’s changed you ask, mainly it had been the resurgence of Chris Bosh. The much maligned, overpaid power forward has been on a tear he’s averaging a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds while shooting over 60% from the field. He has finally begun to the look like the premier power forward that he has been hyped up to be as he has dominated the post against the Lakers big men, Zach Randolph and tonight against Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess.
In addition to Bosh, the Heat defense has clamped down instead of lapsing in key moments like it did the previous two weeks against the Bulls, Knicks and Magic. They’ve allowed an average of only 84 points per game in the last three and have limited the scoring outputs of Kobe Bryant, Manu Ginobili and Randolph.
In a span of two weeks the Heat went from looking like a team that could fall to a four seed instead of the Eastern Conference contender that they have resembled in the last 5 days.
Now for the bad news straight from the mouth of Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, “”They needed the game more than us.”
You’re probably wondering so what, Manu’s probably just mad that the Spurs got taken to the woodshed, think again.
The Spurs and Lakers are pretty much in the clubhouse at the top of the Western Conference. While neither team looked good in Miami they really don’t need to.
Their standing in the playoffs is a given, for Miami it’s still a dogfight. Miami is still chasing Boston and Chicago for a top 2 seed in the East while the Spurs and Lakers are trying to get some rest before the playoffs. Even the Grizzlies are sitting pretty at the 8 spot with Utah and Phoenix fading fast.
Miami has finally proven that they can hang with the big dogs, but it might be too little too late.
They only play Boston one more time before the playoffs and that’s the 80th game of the year when they are in rest mode. After Oklahoma City on Wednesday they have a cakewalk to the finish line and are still an unfinished product.
These three wins are an aberration. I still think that they are the third best team in the East with Chicago and Boston standing in front of them and both of those teams are more complete products.
So while the Heat enjoy their recent morale boost it doesn’t change the fact that they’re still not in proper shape to contend in the East. Though finally beating the big dogs does raise awareness as to how good they can be.