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Funny how things change so quickly, from hot to cold and back to hot again. After getting their butts kicked in San Antonio in the midst of the 5 game losing streak that had men crying and the media howlin’ on the demise of the Heat, the Heat are now on a new streak, a winning streak, with one big win over the Lakers and one HUGE win over the San Antonio Spurs last night.

Chris Bosh said after the game: “It’s huge for us, really, just getting even with this team. They beat us pretty good and I’m happy that we were able to respond by playing a complete game tonight. But at the same time, it is just one game.” It is just one game, but what a confidence builder. The best thing for the Heat? They raised their game in the fourth quarter, a problematic time zone for them during that painful two week span not too long ago.

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The Heat’s big three combined for 80 points – Bosh with 30 and 12 rebounds, Wade with 29 and 9 rebounds plus 2 blocks and LeBron James with 21, 6 boards and 8 assists. They didn’t need anyone else to score over 4 points except for Chalmers (11) to win it. Just help out on D and move the ball around. Both teams turned the ball over 11 times, but the Spurs had only 5 steals. Miami had 9. And there’s no faster and better team in the league when on the fast break. When you have LeBron James zooming forward, with or without the ball, it’s pretty much in the bank you’ll score.

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San Antonio were sort of in the game, holding on (until the fourth), but weren’t there energy wise. Is it just a loss, or more? The softness on defense, especially in the fourth quarter collapse, is a worrying sign. The Spurs do have a more potent offense this season, but it wasn’t there against a ferocious Heat defense (Spurs hit only 5 field goals in the fourth quarter and finished with 38.3% from the field). You need your defense to carry you through when the shots don’t drop. Chicago have it, Boston have it, the Lakers have it. The Heat? I’m still not convinced. Pop did a re-configuration this season, making San Antonio a much more point happy team. That usually, well nearly always works for them. They’re 54-13 if you forgot. Maybe Duncan, Parker and Manu are re charging their batteries before the playoffs. They have home court advantage pretty much in the bag as long as they don’t mess it up too bad. Question is, will they be able to turn the intensity, especially on D, come playoff time?

 

Rough Night for the Spurs and Duncan

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As for the Heat, when they’re good, they’re the funnest team to watch in the NBA. The usual question is – can they keep this kind of energy level and defense away from home, in the playoffs, against the Bulls and the Celtics? Regular season match-ups say no. If you believe this team is a work in progress, gelling and getting better with time, than there’s hope.