Heat Feast On East, Nibble On West




HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – A question on Twitter about the Miami Heat’s 23-game win streak seemed to bring up a fair point: If the Heat played in the West would LeBron James and Co. be the new owners of the second-longest streak in NBA history?

The Denver Nuggets play in the West and they’ve won 12 in a row, so stacking wins is not impossible in a stacked conference. But with rested Oklahoma City (50-17) waiting for tonight’s matchup (8 ET, NBA TV) following the Nuggets’ overtime escape from Chicago on Monday, getting No. 13 will take serious work. Four games later, Denver’s road leads to San Antonio.

Heat upcoming schedule
Day Date Loc. Opponent Time (ET) TV
Wed. 3/20 @ Cleveland 7 p.m. League Pass
Fri. 3/22 vs. Detroit 7:30 p.m. League Pass
Sun. 3/24 vs. Charlotte 6 p.m. League Pass
Mon. 3/25 @ Orlando 7 p.m. League Pass
Wed. 3/27 @ Chicago 8 p.m. ESPN
Fri. 3/29 @ New Orleans 8 p.m. League Pass
Sun. 3/31 @ San Antonio 7 p.m. NBA TV

The Nuggets’ streak, though, illustrates the superiority of the West over the East. Denver is now 46-22, which would put the Nuggets 5 1/2 games in front of the East’s third-place New York Knicks, victim No. 14 in the Heat’s streak. The Nuggets would be seven games behind Miami — or 4 1/2 games closer than the East’s second-place team, the Indiana Pacers, Heat victim No. 18.

In the West, 24 games over .500 is good for only the fifth seed. Denver still has one more loss than the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies, both teams the Nuggets have defeated during their run.

Flip it around, and the Pacers’ 41 wins would get them no better than the sixth seed in the West. The West has five teams with at least 45 wins compared to just one in the East (and you know who that it is).

Still, the Heat can only play the teams on their schedule. Their last eight wins during this incredible streak have come against Eastern foes, with half of those being current playoff teams. There have been some close calls (Orlando, Philadelphia), but the toughest battle came Monday night with a 13-point comeback in the fourth quarter of the second game of a road back-to-back against the proud Boston Celtics, who were playing without Kevin Garnett.

The Heat started their streak by steamrolling Houston, the Clippers, Lakers and Oklahoma City before the All-Star break for wins Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 7. The Heat averaged 110.5 points in those games and won by an average margin of 12 points. All except the Thunder game, a wire-to-wire rout in which Miami led by as much as 23, were played on the Heat’s home floor. Win No. 6 was also at home, 117-104 over Portland.

Win No. 13 was a home struggle against burly Memphis, perhaps the most well-equipped team to beat the Heat with its two talented big men and sturdy defense. The 98-91 loss at Miami was the Grizzlies’ lone blemish in their recent 14-1 roll.

Win No. 12 was a wild, double-overtime triumph at home against the upstart Sacramento Kings, and win No. 15, the Heat’s last game against the West, was a 97-81 waltz at depleted Minnesota.

With the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ all-time win streak of 33 now the lone target left, next up for the Heat are four East bottom-feeders — at Cleveland, Detroit, Charlotte and at Orlando — followed by a challenging road game at Chicago and then at West lightweight New Orleans.

If Miami nabs all six, the streak will stand at 29. And then, on March 31, it’s off to a West outpost the Heat haven’t visited since March 4, 2011 — San Antonio — for a Sunday evening showdown on NBA TV.

38 Comments

  1. LebronKingOfNba says:

    The Heat started their streak by steamrolling Houston, the Clippers, Lakers and Oklahoma City before the All-Star break for wins Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 7. The Heat averaged 110.5 points in those games and won by an average margin of 12 points. All except the Thunder game, a wire-to-wire rout in which Miami led by as much as 23, were played on the Heat’s home floor. Win No. 6 was also at home, 117-104 over Portland.

    - r u saying that the heat won against okc at miami’s home court? and that game was wire to wire? maybe try to watch again that game. smh

    • Chris says:

      i wasn’t aware that a six point win against Houston counted as steam rolling. Than what does it say about the warriors for blowing Houston out on Sunday? Bear in mind the clippers also steam rolled Miami earlier this season, they are now 1-1 together. Both teams brutally beat each other down, though I give credit to the clippers BENCH for doing most of that. Wake me up when Cole slaughters CP3.

  2. Richie says:

    I think it’s a wonderful accomplishment for the team, and I hope it continues. No matter what team, person, sport…there will always be haters, admirers, or people who just have nothing good to say about anything, no matter what it is. “Kevin was out that’s why…” well, when the Heat beat them last time and he was playing…it comes down to teamwork, hussle, spirit and perseverance. It was just a good game, and whomever scored the most points was gonna win it…and the same thing for the last 21 games as well. People who knock accomplishments, need to start earning their own first.

  3. Chris says:

    Why is it that the old and battered spurs who’s stars have been off and on the court all season still manage to Stand darn near neck and neck with Miami? That right there is pure stubbornness and refusal to back down. It’s sad that the media is too obsessed with the heat to appreciate what other teams are doing. But that’s the way the media works, elevate one person or group of people to the level of God and pretend the rest are mere insects for them to step on

  4. NBA Fan #361153140 says:

    OH MY GOD, Jeff Caplan is totally a heat hater. Just Noticed. Seriously, all the points he gave were totally on the perspective of someone trying to degrade Miami of its success.

  5. Pedro says:

    definitely they are not unbeatable. a lot of teams have really come close to doing it. but one thing scary about the heat is that they have learned how to become very hard to beat.

  6. cristoballz says:

    Congrats to the Heat for setting a record that is more hyped up by fans and the media than the players themselves. I sincerely believe their eye is on the prize such as other great winning teams in both conferences. Break as many records as you’d like but in the end it’s not how your start but how you finish. ANY team can be dangerous in the right frame of mind in a singular game against an opponent. As long as you’ve clinched a playoff spot the real challenge has yet to come.

  7. jawoparin says:

    enough of the win streaks, let’s focus on the championship. go heat!!!!

  8. Yhanz says:

    they are the team to beat right now. but they cant break lakers winning streak.

  9. Marco29 says:

    This 23 wins streak is quite impressive. Beginning of February, Miami was ranklng 29th in terms of games played (38 vs 44 for SAS) and has now played 66 (most teams have played 66 or 67 games) so they managed to get this streak with a quite heavy schedule.
    No win has been given to them, they had to fight for each win and some games were pretty close. All the teams they will face next will play hard to be the team that beat the champ and ended the streak.
    But probably, the end result will more depend on Miami and their decision to push or not to break the 33 mark. Their seed in the East is more than secured, even home court for the entire playoffs is almost secured so they might choose to rest the big 3, that has played a lot lately, for the playoffs.
    The one game they will for sure play at 100% is in San Antonio on March 31st.
    I am really looking forward to that game and hope Tony Parker will be back and fit for it so that the Spurs get a fair chance to beat the Heat.

  10. even if garnett is on the game, the game will change.. the heat will be much stronger and competitive against the C’s and for sure they will win, i really enjoy what’s the miami heat showing to the world.. they are unbeatable and competitive..Miami Heat team and to to all Miami Heat FANS are enjoying what’s happening right now.. they made a history that will never be forgotten..playing back to back is not easy especially when your opponent is a strong team.. Heat are very consistent in their game.. they are hard to beat.. but at the end of the day, they will lose to the team who are hungry and angry with them:) i think the SPURS is the only threat but if they beat the SPURS, mark my word they will break the LA LAKERS’ 33 streak win..

    last but not the least, to all the heat haters,goodluck to all of you.. insecurity will bring you down:)
    just appreciate the HISTORY!

    Congratulations HEAT! LBJ for MVP!

    Greetings from the PHILIPPINES:)

  11. LordP says:

    Jeff caplan all those words to tell us that the Western come is thougher than the Eastern..yeah man tell us something new..Don’t try to downplay the streak..matter of fact how many teams has reach 22 or more wins in a row in Nba history?? 3..Please stop it..and give credit to the Miami Heat!!

  12. otis says:

    JUST FACE IT, THE HEAT IS THE BEST TEAM THIS YEAR, AND LAST YEAR. THEY HAVE BEATEN EVERY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE! NO OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE CAN SAY THAT! THEY HAVE BEATEN THE BEST OF THE WEST, AND THE BEST OF THE EAST!

    I THINK THE HEAT COULD POSSIBLY , WIN EVERY GAME FROM NOW ON, INCLUDING THE PLAYOFFS……..ALONG THE WAY SET THE REGULAR SEASON AND PLAYOFF RECORD…

    39 STRAIGHT, 16 -0 IN THE PLAYOFFS…

    THEY ARE THAT GOOD!

  13. Justin says:

    No matter what team the Miami Heat is facing, no one can claim that got the wins easily. The Heat the the DEFENDING CHAMPS and are on A 23-WIN STREAK. What that means is that every single team they have to play is going to give them their absolute best game because no matter what, you want to say you defeated the Champs and its a even larger confidence boost if you defeat the Champs and get to be the team that breaks this historic winning streak.

  14. Random says:

    To say that the Heat are nibbling on the West isn’t right. The Heat currently have a better winning percentage against the West, with a record of 23-5, compared to the East, with a record of 29-9. The Heat have been dominant regardless of who they face.

  15. Tony snow says:

    Aint’t nobody hatin’ on the Heat, but watch out for the Nuggets or Grizzlies… Forget San Antonio or Oklahoma!

  16. Patty says:

    I AM TIRED OF ESPN TALKING ABOUT THE HEAT!!! I TURNED THE CHANNEL WHEN ESPN FOCUSES ON THE MIAMI HEAT. THERE ARE OTHER TEAMS IN THE NBA.

  17. king james says:

    thanks for the comment Chris, we are not the houston rockets.. they had tracy and yao.. and my team mate shane.. but we are a different we cut leads easily.. you have to be up at least 25 to be safe..out of 7 games honestly do you think we will lose 4.. without a fight??

    thanks wahid, JG, zeej, showbaba Canada

    @kingjames

    • Average Joe says:

      For real? Are you really LeBron?

      • Buba says:

        DUH! Being from South Florida I can say that James does not use that cadence or tone when speaking. Dont think James would speak this way just because it is at the end of an NBA column. Secondly, and most importantly, LeBron does not like to go by King James anymore.

        NICE TRY king james (all lower case like you were in a hurry to type it)

  18. Vanessa says:

    I agree! People forgot that Miami played a back-to-back against Celtics last night and Pierce was well rested so we did have a little fatigue but we fought all the way through. Look for excuses all you want Heat haters but we still got the best team on the planet!!!!!

    • sally says:

      I’m with you Vanessa, they got it going on and I don’t think anything is going to stand in their way of grabbing that trophy again. The people who are sick of hearing about it are jealous because their team isn’t doing what the Heat are. Oh well, folks deal with it, cause its coming …. big time !!! Go Heat !!

  19. Silence I'll kill u says:

    People didnt realize that its hard to win a game after game. Especially a back to back road trips. Just respect and give them credit for making a history

  20. MIAMI HEAT BABAY says:

    AWWW YEAAAH. I’m proud of the heat! No matter what they say, this 23 game win streak is an accomplishment! Too bad I don’t think we’re going to reach that 33 mark though. Couple games inbetween I can see us losing, Especially the Spurs game.

    • showbaba Canada says:

      Let me frankly say, Miami may loose to any team before playing Spur or loose after that game but I can tell you that Miami will not loose to San Antonio on march 31 2013. Go and put this on their record, Miami is wining that game.

  21. zeej says:

    Houston, LAL, LAC, @OKC, Memphis, Portland.

    That’s 5 of the top 9 West teams that they’ve beaten on this streak.

    And virtually all of the Eastern playoff teams as well.

    • Samboheat says:

      That’s 3 of the top 4 West teams and 5 of the top 8 that they’ve beaten in this streak. Portland isn’t half as bad as their record says either. They’ve already beaten every team in the entire league this season including EVERY West team. Their record is 23-5 against West teams, better than their 29-9 record against the East. I admit that the West is more “stacked”, but if anything the Heat have been bottom-feeding on the West to have the best record in the league. Go HEAT!!

  22. Chris says:

    I’m not a heat fan and while I believe things might be different if the heat were in the west I won’t take away from Miami’s accomplishment. Sure many of their victims were beaten and injury plagued, just coming off of injuries or bottom feeders but the heat have lost to bottom feeders and injury plagued teams before. They didnt become content with a huge streak they kept playing regardless of who was thrown at them. You can’t choose your opponents anyway, so it’s not like it’s their fault they faced the celtics without a full lineup. I’m sure they CAN win another title, they’ve got the pieces but for anyone to outright guarantee they get a title is just plain stupid. Remember Houston got swept 1st round the year they went 22-0

    • MrPhatz05 says:

      In short you are a Heat hater fan, right?

    • wahid says:

      First of all, comparing Houston to Miami is absurd. If you watched the video you would have heard Shane saying the Houston team was not suppose to win, they just got on a lucky streak. Miami on the other hand, is very capable of breaking the record and they are certainly not going to lose in the first round of the playoffs. If they are going to lose it will be in the finals if they face San Antonio because SA is a much bigger team and they are very deep. Let’s just enjoy the ride because we are witnessing history. Go Miami !!!

    • JG says:

      OKC, the Lakers, Indiana, Grizzlies, Hawks, Knicks…. just a few teams we beat during the streak that were NOT injury depleted..

      As a Heat fan, I appreciate your acknowledgment but also let me point out that that Houston team has no point of comparison with Miami. If you want to compare our streaking team, do it vs the 09 Celtics that lost or the 72 Lakers that won… at the end only time will tell. As you said we can’t crown them yet…, nothing is set in stone, nothing is granted, you have to earn it.

      Go Heat!

      • Rhett says:

        I always think people are a bit strange when they refer to a sports team as “we”. Those guys don’t know you.

    • Patty says:

      THANK YOU CHRIS FOR WRITING YOUR STATEMENT. I AM NOT A HEAT HATER. HOWEVER, I BELIEVE THE BOSTON CELTICS WOULD HAVE WON IF KEVIN GARNETT HAD PLAYED.

      ESPN MUST KNOW, PEOPLE DONOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE MIAMI HEAT 24/7. THERE ARE OTHER TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE THAT ARE DOING VERY WELL. LOOK AT THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES, DENVER NUGGETS, SAN ANTONIO SPURS, WARRIORS,ETC.

      LEBRON JAMES IS STILL THE SAME PERSON WHO LEFT THE Cleveland Cavaliers
      & HAVE NOT LOOKED BACK AT THEM.

      • Justin says:

        Patty I disagree with your statement about the Heat losing if Garnett played. The fact that Garnett was out is the reason that Jeff Green was able to shine. You put Garnett back in the line-up and Green doesn’t get all the shots that he was able to take and in no way will Garnett ever drop 43 points on the Heat. So just accept that the Celtics loss. Point blank period.

    • sally says:

      Is that the same as Kobe guaranteeing they would get in the playoffs, that was another “stupid” thing he did too. He does so many it’s hard to keep up, It is clear you are either a laker fan or a celtic fan and by the way everybody plays “bottom feeders” and ” injury ridden opponents” that’s the way the NBA rolls dude. Go Heat !!

      • Chris says:

        I am neither, I’m a basketball fan that enjoys seeing good games. 23 wins and I see maybe a few of the good teams on that list?

        Miami has had the healthiest lineup all season too. Kudos to them for staying out of the injury world.

        OKC chokes at the mention of Miami, I don’t think they ever will beat Miami, finals or preseason.

        I’m more impressed with what the nuggets are doing with 10less wins than I am with miami’s of ten more. Everyone won’t shut up about Miami raving about them in the way that says they’re so good this shouldn’t be a surprise, well if they’re that good just enjoy the ride and give another team some credit instead of updating Everytime the heat pick their noses