It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but LeBron James brought back the can’t-miss kind of basketball to his arsenal on another, rather comfortable this time, win for the Miami Heat, as the winning streak record from more than 40 years ago doesn’t look all that unreachable anymore at the current rate of things.
The Heat have now reached 25 consecutive wins, and the eyebrows aren’t even going up anymore. People seem to be more interested in what the Denver Nuggets are doing, a bit more of a novelty until they finally came out from under the radar, picking up 14 consecutive victories. From the Heat? It’s almost too expected, when you think of the amount of hype going on when James & Bosh joined Dwyane Wade to begin the Big Three era in Miami back in 2010.
It was also the 16th time in a row the Heat won at home, bringing down the Detroit Pistons 103-89. An expected, almost unnoticed win, which is pretty much the way the Heat like it. Not getting too caught up in the chase after the record, although it is impossible to ignore.
We don’t get caught up in things like that, saying that we’re untouchable. We know we can be beat by anybody, any night, if we don’t come in with the mindset to play our game. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. This time of year, it’s going to be a dangerous team. It’s going to be a team absolutely urgent, desperate for a playoff position or a team with nothing to lose, no pressure. Either way, you have to impose your will.
But there were more records, individual ones, up for grabs. LeBron James led the Heat with 29 points, adding 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Nothing special there, right? James went 12-15 from the field, finishing at 80%. Remember his run last month, when he had six games of at least 61% from the field? Maybe this is the beginning of something new. It was his best performance (tied) in terms of shooting percentage from the field when taking at least 15 shots. He had a similar stat line against the Toronto Raptors back in April 2012.
The help? There as always. Dwyane Wade scored 19 points; Mario Chalmers scored 11 points with three tre’s; Shane Battier scored 11 as well and Norris Cole added 10 more, while Chris Bosh had a rough shooting night (1-7 from the field, 5 points) and Ray Allen hardly touched the ball during his 18 minutes on the floor, scoring only 2 points on 1-3 from the field, getting a few stitches on his lower lip.
It was one of those games in which a weak opponent for the Heat manages to hang in there for about a half, or a bit more, but knows that unless it creates a big lead, some sort of big run is going to come. When you compare it with other wins the Heat have had over the last 10 days, including huge comebacks against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics, beating the Pistons with simply being dominant on both ends during the second half, without any need for some individual heroics from James in the final quarter, is almost unexpectedly boring, which is another example of just how good the Heat are right now.