Despite a 32 point, seven rebound performance by LeBron James, the Miami Heat saw their 27 game win streak come to an end Wednesday night, falling to the Chicago Bulls 101 – 97. For the Miami faithful, it stung to see James and company fall only six games short of setting a new NBA record. For the team itself, though, Wednesday night’s defeat might have been a good thing.
Actually, it might have been a great thing.
Historically, a streak of any kind equates to nothing but unnecessary pressure. Ask any hitter on a lengthy hit streak or any football team, basketball team, or baseball team that hasn’t lost in a while. It’s grueling, demanding, and when it lasts too long—like it did for the New England Patriots in 2007—it can lead to defeat at the worst possible time, when it matters most.
For that reason I feel that the Heat players are likely breathing a sigh of relief knowing the streak has come to an end.
The Heat are still far and away the best team in the league and Wednesday night did nothing to change that. With 11 games left in the season and a dominant hold on the top seed in the Eastern Conference, they can now coast their way through what is left of the season, maybe even giving some well-deserved rest for the big three, which is huge.
Overall, it may sting a bit now to come so close to such a long standing record, but come playoff time, Wednesday night will only benefit the Heat as they look to turn last year’s championship team into the dynasty we all expected.