5 Reasons Why Miami Heat Will Break NBA Winning Streak Record
Miami Heat: 5 Reasons Why They Will Break NBA Winning Streak Record
Since dropping a February 1 meeting against the Indiana Pacers 102-89, the Miami Heat have rolled off the second-best winning streak in NBA history, now standing at an impressive 23 games. The Heat have appeared virtually unbeatable during the stretch and outscoring their opponents by an average of over 11 points per game (the Heat are averaging 105.4 points and holding teams to just 94 during the winning streak), and in the games where their streak has been in jeopardy the Heat have always seemed to come up with the key play to come out with a victory.
A long winning streak like this can be attributed to the perfect combination of things clicking for the Heat all at the right time; skill, scheduling and a little bit of luck. Miami has gotten big contributions from everyone on their roster, from superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade all the way down to role players Norris Cole and Shane Battier and everyone in between.
The Heat are now poised to make a serious run at the NBA record of 33 straight wins, accomplished by the historic Los Angeles Lakers team of 1971-72, but the road to 33 won't be easy. While Miami does have a handful of easy games between now and April 9th -- the date the Heat would be scheduled to break the streak against the Milwaukee Bucks -- the Heat also have a couple of tough match ups that can derail their date with history.
The Heat are in the midst of a fairly light part of their schedule over the next month, with seven of the 11 games needed to break the Lakers record being against teams with losing records. Out of the other four games, two are against teams with major injuries (Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks).
The only real test the Heat will face is when they travel to Texas to play the San Antonio Spurs, which would put them at 30 wins in a row if they can pull it off.
Role Players Stepping Up
While the stars get most of the headlines not great team is complete without solid role players, and the Heat have a few capable ones of their own. Point guard Mario Chalmers has been shooting lights out during the streak and is knocking down .432 of his three-point attempts, Norris Cole is providing energy off the bench, Ray Allen is still on of the best outside shooters in the NBA and Shane Battier has been solid both as a spot-up shooter and defensive stopper.
With their role players contributing at a high level every game, the Heat have just enough of a balanced attack to keep rolling on their way to the record.
Miami was already one of the NBA's best defensive teams and they have been stellar during their winning streak, holding opponents to just 94 points per game. The Heat have stoppers at virtually every position, with Chalmers and Cole able to hound point guards, Dwyane Wade, Battier and James on the perimeter and even longtime Heat veteran Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh acting as enforcers in the paint.
A team would have to be hitting on all cylinders to snap the Heat's streak but with defenders like Miami has the chances of that happening are slim.
Dwyane Wade's Resurgence
Remember back when critics were saying that Dwyane Wade had lost a step or two? Well during the streak Wade has looked more and more like his All-Star self despite being 31 years old.
Wade has increased his production lately and is averaging 23.5 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds while shooting .546 from the field, all numbers that would earn most players an MVP award if not for the man Wade shares the spotlight with. Which brings us to the biggest reason the Heat will break the winning streak record...
As long as LeBron James is breathing, the Miami Heat have a chance to win every game he plays in. LeBron is simply on another level and is cruising to his fourth MVP award in five seasons, and for good reason.
James has scored 30 or more points in nine of the 23 games during the Heats streak, pulled down double-digit rebounds in eight of the games and he has dished out 10 or more assists in five of those contests. When the Heat need a huge shot, 99% of the time the play is facilitated through James. There just isn't anything James can't do at this stage in his career.
With the best player in the world on their team the Heat are in great shape to not only challenge the Lakers 33-game winning streak record but to break it on their way to a championship.