The Miami Heat enjoyed a trip to the White House Tuesday in what is becoming an annual visit with the President of the United States. The NBA champions met with Barack Obama for the second consecutive year. The trip came at an opportune time due to Miami’s recent collapse in New York, and the team needed a break from the grueling schedule. With an extended layoff under their belts and some much-needed rest for an injured roster, the Heat will resume their schedule tonight against the Washington Wizards to kick off a trip down the Atlantic coast.
This is an important set of games for Miami as it plays four games in the next six days. The champs have been in a downward spiral due to injuries and disappointing losses to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. After four days off the Heat players should be well rested, but between the visit to the White House and the other activities, they could be a bit distracted.
Fortunately, Miami has the Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Bobcats coming up, all easily winnable games. Dwyane Wade will be ready to go after missing the Nets game, and Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier should also be close to a return. Both players have missed a handful of games due to injury, and Miami has sorely missed them.
The back-to-back losses in the Big Apple are no need for a full-fledged panic, but it was hopefully a wake-up call for the Heat. There is still plenty of time left in the season, but the next few games are crucial for Miami to get back on track. The champions just need to take a deep breath and relax, focus their sights and begin the push to a third straight title. We are already halfway through January. Up next is the All-Star Game and before you know it the playoffs. Look for the Heat to begin to settle in and begin their run.