What They’re Saying: On The Heat Streak




Seven games away from setting an NBA record for most consecutive wins in a season, the Miami Heat are the talk of the sporting world. The defending champions have not lost  a game since a 13-point setback in Indiana on Feb. 1 and have a chance — in some people’s minds, at least — to run the rest of the regular-season table.  Their winning streak, the second-longest in league history, stands at 27 games.

NBA.com dispatched our game reporters to talk to those around the NBA who have seen the streak close up. Here’s a sampling of what people are saying:

On the streak | How the Heat are winning | What makes Miami so good? |
Difference from last season’s team? | Chances at winning out? | How to stop the streak? |
Any weaknesses in this crew? | Juggernaut team a good or bad thing?

On the wonder of the streak …

Kevin McHale, coach, Houston Rockets: “The thing I’ve always been impressed about long winning streaks is the fact that you keep your concentration long enough to do it. You win 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 in a row, and you run into a bad team, and it’s late in the year, that’s usually when you stumble. I know the teams I played on went on a lot of 10, 11, 12, 13, 14-game streaks, and then we’d play a bad team, none of us would be ready, and they’d be all juiced up for us. You do get bored [when you're on a great team] a little bit, and you get complacent, and you start taking for granted you’re going to win. You need to lose one or two, and then you get refocused and play. But, as I’ve said all along — I know you guys don’t believe it — but actual human beings play this game. That’s just what happens.”

Ralph Lawler, announcer, Los Angeles Clippers: “I remember when the Los Angeles Lakers won 33 straight games in the 1971-72 season, it’s a record that I thought would never be broken. For the Heat to be approaching the mark, it’s extraordinary. Everyone is paying attention. Winning in the NBA is not an easy thing to do, and when you do it on a consistent basis, the pressure mounts. I think the players for the Heat understand what’s at stake. You can’t shut off the lights and say I’m not aware of what’s going on. LeBron James and his teammates might attempt to deflect talk about the winning streak to the media, but on the team plane and team bus, it’s all the buzz. If the Heat win 30, 31, or 32 games in-a-row, gee whiz, people will start to talk about them being world-beaters.”

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: “It’s hard to win basketball games in this league and to win ’em in a row is even harder and over 20 is really tough, so we don’t have any hate in our blood over here. We give respect when it’s due. But I would say we’re not worried about what they’re doing, it’s just that all we’re focused on is us. But every time you turn on the TV you hear it and once you really sit back and look at it, it’s impressive.”

Marreese Speights, Cleveland Cavaliers: “If you can’t get excited about playing Miami, then you’re not a basketball player. Everyone around the league is watching you because they’re all keeping an eye on them. [Those] are the games you love to play.”

George Karl, coach, Denver Nuggets: “They’ve won a lot of close games. Sacramento almost beat them, they had a close game with Philadelphia, a one-possession game. It’s a pretty amazing [streak]. Thirteen is a lot [the Nuggets had a 13-game streak and the time], so you double that … it’s pretty impressive.

Daniel Gibson, Cleveland Cavaliers: “When they go into every city, people want to see them. It’s exciting for all of us. They’re playing at such a high clip, you can’t help but want to watch them play.”

Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets: “Winning streaks are always fun to be a part of, but it is tough when you see one team win so much … No one is scared of these guys, but I think most of the league respects the way they’ve handled their business.”

Scott Brooks, coach, Oklahoma City Thunder: “I’ve never seen it in my lifetime, I mean I know the Lakers did it in the 70s but I wasn’t following the NBA in the early ’70s. But just to do what they’re doing now with the parity that we have in the league it’s pretty amazing. There’s so many games that you have to have everything go right to win. The travel, the back-to-backs, the injuries you have to overcome, the foul trouble, the turnovers, just everything about it and to win 25 straight games … give them credit because they have the mental ability to have the mindset to do that night in and night out, that’s just pretty phenomenal.”

On the way the Heat have won during their streak …

Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs: “The Heat have been impressive in that they’ve won in all types of fashion. They’ve won close games, blowouts. They’re rolling. Playing great. Everybody wants to be the team that’s going to break their streak, and that’s what makes it impressive, too. They’re getting everyone’s best shot.”

Gibson: “It definitely shows how focused they are because they have to come in every night prepared. It’s very tough to do because you also got to have a little luck with you because guys have to stay healthy, and everybody has to be clicking.”

Jerry Stackhouse, Brooklyn Nets: “It can be tough building a streak. When you’re constantly trying to find motivation, you can get some mental fatigue. But I think with it being so close to the end of the season and they’re trying to go into the playoffs on a high note, I don’t think it’s as tough a task. If it was earlier in the season, you feel like you’ve got so many games left and you’re not going to win them all, so this might be a good night to just chill out. I just think it comes down to their execution late in games. They trust each other. They’ve been together a while, enough now to know what to do. Their confidence is high.”

On what makes the Heat so good …

P.J. Carlesimo, coach, Brooklyn Nets: “They’re so quick and so versatile. They can play different ways. They can really disrupt you with their defense. Everybody knows they’re a very good offensive team. They get up and down the floor. They can shoot the 3. They have a couple of guys you just pretty much can’t defend. But their defense and the way they disrupt you offensively is the biggest problem. They take people out of their game. It’s very hard to control the game against them. Most teams are not able to do it … When you are playing their way, that’s not a good thing.”

Bonner: “I think it’s always been scary, not how good they could be: How good they are, to me. They’re the champions, and you can argue they got better in the offseason by adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. They were always the team to beat. Now they’ve taken that to a whole new level.”

Heat upcoming schedule
Day Date Loc. Opponent Time (ET) TV
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
Tue. 4/2 vs. New York 8 p.m. TNT
Fri. 4/5 @ Charlotte 7 p.m. League Pass
Sat. 4/6 vs. Philadelphia 7:30 p.m. League Pass

McHale: “They can switch a lot of stuff. Their power forward/center [Chris] Bosh can step out … I think [Dwyane] Wade has really played well during this stretch. He’s kind of finding his rhythm.”

Rick Adelman, coach, Minnesota Timberwolves: “The advantage they have … they have the ability to come back. When the game is on the line, they have the advantage. They know what they are doing at the end of the game. They have two closers, and they defend very well. You got to get through certain games, like they did against Cleveland, and you get through those games, it just adds to confidence. They’re too good defensively, and they’re too active. “

Beverley: “It’s not just about the way LeBron and Wade play, it’s the way they play with the other guys. They have those veterans, guys like [Shane] Battier and Ray Allen who are able to hit big shots off the attention that the big three draw.”

Ty Corbin, coach, Utah Jazz: “They’re confident, and they’ve found a way now to force their will on people. They get a lot of transition baskets and they feed off of runs. They try to turn a five-point run into a 10-point run into a 15-point run, and they believe they are going to get those runs during the game … They just put a lot of pressure on teams.”

Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns: “What they are doing is amazing. With the three monsters they’ve got, and the backups — and I use the term backups lightly — they’ve got great players coming off the bench. It’s been a cohesive unit. Everybody is playing well, knocking down open shots. When you got LeBron, Chris Bosh and D. Wade controlling the middle of the floor and the outside players knocking down shots, there’s not too much you can do.”

Lawrence Frank, coach, Detroit Pistons: “They move the ball so effortlessly. They have great trust in each other. The way that ball moves from one player to the next is very, very impressive and defensively, they’ve always been top-shelf. They combine great athleticism, effort, technique and commitment. You know what they’re going to do and it doesn’t matter because they put great effort and intensity into it. The next step that they’ve taken is they’ve got great trust in each other.”

Beasley: “They really excel on the defensive side. That’s what [Miami] coach [Erik] Spoelstra really talks about a lot. To me, noticeably, they are putting their foots on opponents’ necks early. Right out of the gate, they take away their confidence. They pound you inside, let their defense go to offense. The offense goes inside, outside.”

Corey Maggette, Detroit Pistons: “What [Heat president] Pat Riley stands for there and what Erik Spoelstra preaches, those guys buy into their system, they buy into winning, they buy into competing at high level. That’s tough — 23 games in a row. It’s unbelievable what they’re doing. The MVP of the league is definitely LeBron, the way he’s been playing. They [LeBron and Dwyane Wade] complement each other the right way. It’s important to have camaraderie with the team and with each other. Both guys have demonstrated selflessness, humbling themselves and their talents and abilities and that’s way it’s worked out.”

On how this team differs from last year’s Miami team, the defending NBA champs …

Gibson: “When you win a championship, it takes a lot of pressure off. Especially with LeBron. You can see the difference. Now, he’s out there playing free, not worrying about anything. He’s really playing free. People forget he’s 6-8, 6-9 with a big frame. They’re posting him up a lot more these days, taking advantage of the mismatches he always has. That makes their offense run a lot smoother because LeBron always finds the open man.”

Maggette: “It took time for guys to play together, to get familiar with what they do best and what they can do best together. They [LeBron and Wade] take turns in doing the job and they still get Chris Bosh involved, they get Mario Chalmers involved, they get Shane Battier and Ray Allen involved. They found out how to play well together and with two superstars on the team, that’s very hard to do. It starts with Dwyane wanting those guys to come in and taking less money because of what they could bring to the team.”

Byron Scott, coach, Cleveland Cavaliers: “We’ve all seen this group grow and grow together over the last couple of years. At first, LeBron had to get comfortable playing with Dwyane and Chris, and Dwyane and Chris had to get comfortable playing with LeBron, and with each other. It’s not just the ‘Big Three’ either. They’ve got as much — or maybe even more — depth asany team in the league. They’re playing at a different level than everyone else right now.”

Adelman: “They have the confidence of a champion. They’ve had the fortune in this streak to be healthy. They haven’t had anybody out. They’re more used to what they are going to do as a team. From what I’ve seen, Shane [Battier] is shooting a lot better than last year. Ray Allen has helped them. They can space the floor. They have two playmakers who can break you down at any time. And they’re very active defensively. It’s another year together with a very talented group. They’re playing with a lot of confidence.”

Lindsey Hunter, coach, Phoenix Suns: “When you win a championship … you figure things out. It doesn’t hurt that you have the best player in the world.”

Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers: “They were the NBA champions last season. They’re not going to lay down. Champions don’t lay down, even when they’re down by 27. Their guys go out and make plays. The way LeBron is playing right now is a whole different level, but that’s what great players do.”

Frank: “Winning the [NBA] championship and the [Olympic] gold medal, [LeBron's] confidence goes to an even higher level. He has a great knowledge of the history of the game. You don’t necessarily enjoy playing against him, but you can appreciate that he’s on top of everything. He’s the defensive QB. He’s a great example of what a great player is because he plays both ends, he’s got a great commitment and IQ and great preparation.”

Carlesimo: “I think Ray was a great addition. I think LeBron is playing at another level than even he’s played at in the past. D-Wade is healthier than he’s ever been. At times he’s been dinged up or not playing as well …”

On the chances of the Heat winning out …

Stackhouse:  “I think they can really run the table … I think it’s realistic [to win out], the way they’re playing. If they stay healthy and have their lineup. Their role players have been consistent. In this whole stretch, they’ve had guys play at a high level …”

Maggette: “I don’t think there’s any other team [better]. It’s about them. With the talent they have, they shouldn’t lose at all, if you ask me. Some days, guys are tired or they’re not mentally focused the right way and they lose games. But during the playoffs and around this time, as they continue the streak, a lot of teams in the playoffs are getting more and more focused. To them, it doesn’t matter about the streak, it’s about the process and how they’re demonstrating that. I know LeBron very well and I grew up with Dwyane, and their ultimate goal is the championship. These guys want to win championships. Dwyane is ahead of LeBron with two and in his mind, he wants to get as many as he can.”

On how to beat the Heat and break the streak  …

Doug Collins, coach, Philadelphia 76ers: “That team is big-time good. They’re a great, great team. I don’t see any weaknesses. That team, when they go to LeBron as a four, is impossible to guard. You can’t guard them. They have big rolling, setting screens, and they have 3-point shooters spreading you out. They’ve got [Dwyane] Wade isolating in the post. They are so good offensively when they have their small unit out there. I looked at our coaches and I said, ‘What do you take away from them?'”

Stackhouse: “You’re always able to get up for the bigger, better teams. The lesser teams that don’t have anything to lose, they know they are not going to make the playoffs. They can play loose and throw haymakers at you all night. That was kind of the case with Cleveland [in the Cavs’ near-win over the Heat]. But they have a lot of pride in what they’re doing and where they are. They were able to fight back. That might have been the toughest one they had to deal with. After having that kind of wake-up call, they can see the finish line now.”

Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers: “We had a chance to break the streak against the Heat a couple weeks ago and didn’t get the job done. We might get another shot to knock them off. It could be us. Our record does not show how good we are. It doesn’t matter what team you play, if you don’t have the mentality to go out there and win, you should not be playing in the NBA. What the Heat are doing right now is incredible. It gives us an incentive to beat them. We have to step up to the challenge.”

Scott:  “You’ve got to be physical and aggressive, and have the mindset that you can win the game. If you’re on your heels, it’s almost like you’re waiting for something [bad] to happen. You have to have fun and enjoy it, and you’ve got to be at your best every single play, every single possession you’re on the floor.”

Frank: “You have to have the belief that’s you’re going to put yourself in position to win. Someone’s going to beat them. Why not us? You have to look at it that way.”

Gibson: “You’ve got to come out with a real focus because they’re very tough to cover. You must have a defensive mindset and get stops and take care of the basketball. You got out there, you play hard, and you let the chips fall where they may.”

Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers: “You take away something and you’ve got to live with it. We kind of took away the inside in the first half [in the last game] and they started hitting threes. In the second half, they started opening up a little bit more … They hit shots, you know? They’re dangerous at every position.”

On the Heat’s weakness …

Beverley: “I don’t know if it’s [rebounding] really a weakness of theirs. I mean, if they’re winning at this rate, you can’t complain about much. I know some people would like to see them with two bigs who can post up and get a lot of boards, but that’s not their style. They’re more of a transition team now, and they can still play as good a defense as anyone when it matters. They seem to get the rebounds they need to get.”

Beasley:  “When their two best players are shooting 60 percent, there ain’t a whole lot of rebounds to get anyway. It’s not like they can’t rebound. But you got Udonis Haslem, who averages eight or nine for his career. He’s just a dog on the boards. They’ve got the right pieces, one through five. And backups. When you got everybody playing as a cohesive unit, everybody treating it like a symbiotic relationship, you get results.”

Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia 76ers: “They really don’t have any weakness and that’s tough to guard. I think you just have to come out and match their intensity as best you can. They dig down deep when they need it and that’s a tangible that’s hard to overcome. LeBron is playing at an extremely high level and he brings the intensity, too. They’ve won a championship and they seem hungry for another one. They get the best shot from an opponent every night. Would it surprise me if they set the record for consecutive games won? No, they can do it. I think it’ll be tough, but it can be done.”

Adelman: “Wade is one of the better rebounders at the two. LeBron is one of the better rebounders at the three. They do it by committee. That’s what they have to have.”

Luke Ridnour, Minnesota Timberwolves: “Rebounding is supposed to be their weakness. Either it isn’t or it doesn’t matter. They’re shooting so well. They play good team defense, which helps. They switch a lot of stuff. And they have big guards. That helps a lot.”

On whether a juggernaut like this is good for the league …

Mike Dunleavy, Milwaukee Bucks: “I think it’s great for the league. They’re sort of the premier team in the league in terms of star power. They’re the defending champs and they’re already up on a big pedestal and now they’re on an even higher one this season. It’s brought incredible attention to the league. We’re [in] the NCAA Tournament, but they’re still the lead story. How many years has that happened that anything other than college basketball is No.1 right now?”

Hunter: “You’ve always had this type of club. I don’t think it can last as long as people think because of the age of some of those guys. D-Wade is going to wear down because of the way he plays. I don’t think it will last THAT long. Possibly they can win one or two more.”

Jim Boylan, coach, Milwaukee Bucks: “”There has always been dominant teams in the league. If you go back to the ’80s with the Lakers and Celtics, there’s always been dominant teams. Go to the Bulls in the ’90s, there’s always been dominant teams, so that’s never going to change. The league has done just fine, so I’m sure it’s going to continue to do fine.”

Carlesimo: “I think it’s good [for the league]. I don’t think it’s a problem. There’s always a best team in the league. To this point, it’s clearly been them and San Antonio in the West. They’re the defending champs. They’ve won our championship, which is significant. And they’re on a great streak right now. But until they put a couple together, I don’t think you get start getting concerned about parity. I don’t think anybody is getting bored. They’re extremely entertaining to watch. If you’re not sitting on the other bench, they’re a very nice team to watch.”

48 Comments

  1. With the chemistry they’re showing, even a 80-90% effort would get them past most of the league

  2. Yhuan12 says:

    I dont care whether this streak will end on 28, 29 or 30…as long as the lakers miss playoffs, thats good enuf for me….go heats

  3. Jack says:

    haters are really mad of this HEAT streak,..they dont accept what is really happening..

  4. KD Fan says:

    KD all the way!

  5. Brusco says:

    I think the reason for the streak is the arrival of the Birdman Chris Andersen. He is just what the heat needed, a back up big man that is very active on the floor and on the boards. The streak started when he was signed as a free agent.

  6. romeo11 says:

    “If you can’t get excited about playing Miami, then you’re not a basketball player.”. WOW! sounds pretty right for me.. #MIAMI HEAT #LCD613 code

  7. HeatFan says:

    Funny. You are here because you just finished reading this article about no one else but the Heat and then you say you are tired of hearing, watching, and reading about the Heat. We are witnessing history being made right before our eyes and we’ll be able to wow our grandkids one day. Respect the game, love the Heat!

  8. #28 says:

    Some guys just come here and post the first thing on his mind just to get some replies…

  9. Bigger says:

    After that 27 point come back there is NO stopping us now. Let’s Go Heat

  10. Raphael James says:

    I hope their coach Erik would reduce the minutes of LeBron because lately his avering 30 plus minutes per game. They need him injured free before the playoff starts.

  11. Matthew says:

    ”some people just get an itch because the player they used to laugh about (for being the most hated), is now considered one of the top basketball players of all time. Just keep hating, so that thirty years from now when people remember LeBron as one of the all time greatest and wish they could re-live the moments, you guys can say, “yeah well I was one of those people that used to hate on him.”//ignorance…

  12. R U A HATER? says:

    You are hurting so so so so so so bad, don’t want to be you, feel sorry for you LEBRON HATER! lol!

  13. KD fan says:

    ***Yo heat fan’s don’t get spoil with all this wining streaks. Championship is the ultimate goal of this game.

    • Bigger says:

      and you think we forgot about that, like WOW, we got that covered> next ring currently being design.

  14. LYNNETTE LEWIS says:

    THE HEAT STREAK ENDED AT 18 OR 19 GUYS. DID YOU NOT NOTE LEBRON ATTACKING THE HOOP AND TAKING 3 OR 4 STEPS TO “WIN” THE GAME? THEY HIGHLIGHTED IT ON ESPN ALL NIGHT OK?

  15. LYNNETTE LEWIS says:

    THE HEAT STREAK ENDED AT 18 OR 19 GUYS. DID YOU NOT NOTE LEBRON ATTACKING THE HOOP AND TAKING 3 OR 4 STEPS TO “WIN” THE GAME? THEY HIGHLIGHTED IT ON ESPN ALL NIGHT OK? AND I HAVE NOTED EVERYONE REPLAYING EVERY SO CALLED FOUL OR QUESTIONABLE PLAY EXCEPT THE HEAT’S.

  16. LYNNETTE LEWIS says:

    THE HEAT STREAK ENDED AT 18 OR 19 GUYS. DID YOU NOT NOTE LEBRON ATTACKING THE HOOP AND TAKING 3 OR 4 STEPS TO “WIN” THE GAME? THEY HIGHLIGHTED IT ON ESPN ALL NIGHT OK? AND I HAVE NOTED EVERYONE REPLAYING EVERY SO CALLED FOUL OR QUESTIONABLE PLAY EXCEPT THE HEAT’S. I GUESS THE OLD SCHOOL LAKERS AND HOUSTON ROCKETS JUST WANT TO GIVE UP THEIR RECORDS TO THE NEW AND IMPROVED NBA RIGHT? AS FOR WEAKNESSES LEBRON HAS A LOT OK? THAT IS WHY HE WENT TO THE HEAT. BUT ONCE AGAIN YOU ALL THINK THEY HAVE A STREAK GOING AND ARE GOING TO BEAT LEGIT TEAMS WITH RECORDS SO WHAT CAN I SAY?

  17. Even better..... says:

    The Heat will break streak of 72 Lakers and this year’s Lakers will fall out of 8th seed and miss Playoffs… Now that right there would be the best! Heat win another Championship, more haters are silenced and Dwight signs with Houston, Kobe hangs it up… Lmao!! Notice no player or coach hated except maybe Lindsey Hunter but, when was he relevant as a player? The Heat will break old streak.. Time for something new.

  18. Jerry Perez says:

    Watch out for the spurs

  19. $ Bill says:

    who said money cant buy winning streaks

  20. ignorance... says:

    some people just get an itch because the player they used to laugh about (for being the most hated), is now considered one of the top basketball players of all time. Just keep hating, so that thirty years from now when people remember LeBron as one of the all time greatest and wish they could re-live the moments, you guys can say, “yeah well I was one of those people that used to hate on him.”

  21. Forty says:

    Get off the page Heat bandwagoners

  22. dre says:

    LS u just a Cleveland Cavaliers fan why u hating on the king ” I’m tired of seeing, hearing, and reading about Miami. Spread the love around” turn off your television and don’t read the papers OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. HEATstoryMAKER says:

    Can’t take no haters seriously on this board.Some are busy saying that Miam ruined basketball for them and yet they are seating following the streak 24/7 and putting their not so ingenious comments in here. Give a break #Streak goes on!

    Nicely put Corey Maggette and Beasley and all the coaching staffs

  24. LEBRON JAMES FAN!! says:

    After Lebron****

  25. dre says:

    Don’t hate the players hate the game Go Heat

  26. LEBRON JAMES FAN!! says:

    I respect KD to the UTMOST LEVEL!!!

    if anyone that deserves credit for humble-ness, kindness, and being a role model for this younger generation of LEBRON, it’s KD and if anyone after KD its Derrick Rose and if anyone after Drose it’s Dwade.

  27. Karere Solomon says:

    CAN YOU FEEL THE HEAT…

  28. Tom says:

    miami ruined basketball for me

    • Islandboy says:

      Really Dude,so what are you doing reading an article about basketball, not to mention why do you visit NBA.com. Any True fan would like what is going right now because we are getting to experience history.

    • wow says:

      why is that? lol

  29. LS says:

    The emphasis on the HEAT/LeBron would be much more palatable if writers and sports shows/sportscasters would give as much press to other teams in the league that are doing well, for example the Spurs, Denver, etc. As an NBA fan, I’m tired of seeing, hearing, and reading about Miami. Spread the love around!

    • Crazyfrog says:

      Then what are u doin here?

    • Florida says:

      You should feel lucky as a basketball fan that Miami Heat letting you witness a history. As one of the LA player from 33 wining streak team said. What Miami Heat is doing is more impressive than 33 winning streak because they do this without a true center unlike LA.

  30. ER KO says:

    Lebron James, best of all time. MJ would have NOTHING on this dude.

  31. LEBRON+HEAT=CHAMPIONSHIPS says:

    heat going to win another championship this year lebron going to win 4th mvp this year and we are going to the lakers winning streak cant beat the heat!! GO HEAT!!!!!!!!

  32. bodjee says:

    *not

  33. bodjee says:

    Even the bad calls are need hindering the Heat’s success!

  34. KingJames says:

    Hate thunder and their fans….GET MAD WATCHING THE HEAT REPEAT

  35. Sideline Mob says:

    Okay, KD. We all believe you’re not watching the Heat’s streak and there’s no “hate in your blood”. Now if you’ll excuse us, Sarah Palin is going to sell us this really awesome bridge.