The Miami Heat have had this “burst” following them around since their title. That at any moment they could turn it on, and beat anyone in front of them. That their overall athleticism and speed could overwhelm any inconsistencies they have. And while the Minnesota Timberwolves probably won’t be the team they face in the finals if they are to reach the end again, the Heat scared the rest of the league this week. They won a game in which they were out rebounded 53-24. The Heat had six offensive rebounds to the T-Wolves 18, and somehow convincingly beat a team by 11 that had individual players grabbing 10 rebounds before the entire Heat team did. And while Lebron was Lebron, Wade was just as good. That win definitely put the rest of the Southeast Division, and the league on warning. When the Heat want to win, it’s going to be almost impossible to stop her.
Miami Heat (17-6, 7-3 Last 10, Current Streak: 3 Wins)
-As stated above, the Heat are starting to play on the level that makes the rest of the league so scared. After overcoming huge odds on the boards in a win against Minny, the Heat traveled to Dallas and outplayed a team on their own floor in every function of the game. It was a reminder of how good the Heat are, and how much the Mavericks have regressed. An interesting stat about Lebron: On zero days rest, he is averaging 28, 9 and 10. Yup, he is one rebound shy of averaging a triple double on the 2nd nights of a back to back. Good luck, world.
Atlanta Hawks (15-8, 6-4 Last 10, Current Streak: 1 Loss)
-The Hawks had a rough week, with a loss against Golden State and Oklahoma City(both at home), while escaping with an overtime win against the Wizards. The Hawks seem to be settling into a range where they know well, a 5 or 6 seed following up with a third round loss. While getting rid of Joe Johnson this year may have been a good start, more dominoes could fall soon in order to force this team to make another step.
Orlando Magic (12-13, 7-3 Last 10, Current Steeak: 4 Wins)
-How about the Magic! Four straight wins, and 7-3 in their last ten have them just a game behind .500 and just a game below the 8th spot in the East. Is their more to this team beyond a quick eye test? Wins over Golden State and Minnesota are surely impressive, but this team has slim to no depth. While Glen Davis’ shoulder injury isn’t as serious as it first seemed, Andrew Nicholson and Josh McRoberts are going to be put into some pretty big moments they aren’t used too. If this continued, a playoff spot would be a huge plus for this team, but is it really worth it for the long term?
Charlotte Bobcats (7-18, 0-10 Last 10, Current Streak: 13 Losses)
-The Bobcats cannot find a way to win lately. 13 straight losses is the longest streak in the league of either kind, and they can’t seem to find a way out. Their next four games are Golden State, Denver, Miami and Brooklyn. While the one point loss to the Lakers showed life(I was really hoping for an LA loss), this team needs to realize what it has. Gerald Heraldson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker are a great foundation to build around. The rest, well, they are the reason for most of these 13 losses.
Washington Wizards(3-20, 2-8 Last 10, Current Streak: 5 Losses)
-Believe it or not, these last ten games are the Wizards best stretch of basketball. It includes 66% of their wins, and also close defeats to Lakers, Hawks, and Magic. Jordan Crawford has shown flashes of his offensive brilliance, and it came full circle with a triple double in the loss. Whether they want to believe it or not, their best option might be (gulp) feeding their offense through him. Until John Wall gets back, you mine as well reward the only guy playing with some confidence on this team.
Interesting Southeast Division Games:
Charlotte @ Golden State
Chicago @ Atlanta
Charlotte @ Denver
Utah @ Orlando
Oklahoma City @ Miami (This game starts at 5:30ET. If you live on the East Coast, and you like basketball, this game should have FIREWORKS. I. Cannot. Wait.)
Miami @ Charlotte
Detroit @ Atlanta
Until next time, your NBA YouTube Clip(Yes, that is Mugsy)!