LeBron James and Chris Bosh carried the Heat during the earlier part of the season, while Dwyane Wade was struggling with injuries, but Wade has been on fire since late January. He returned, finally healthy, on January 27, and has since scored over 20 points 13 out of the last 15 games. He needed only 29 minutes to finish with 30, leading the Heat to their seventh straight win, a 120-108 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
All of the Heat’s wins have been in double digit margins, as our favorites for the NBA title in 2012 took control of the top spot in the East, currently 0.5 games over the bulls with a 26-7 record. LeBron James has once again been MVP’ish this season, and with the hating LeBron trend not as strong as it was last season, it’s going to be hard for anyone, be it Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant, to prevent James from winning his third award.
Wade has certainly taken over the scoring duties, averaging 24.8 points per game in February after struggling to dominate consistently during the first month. His shooting is much better as well, surpassing the 50% from the field mark after awful nights earlier on.
LeBron James? Nothing special – 18 points, 8 assists, while both Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers scored 20 points. There was no defense whatsoever from the Kings who fell to 10-22 as the Heat took over the game with a few defensive presses that left Sacramento completely helpless, especially by the Heat’s 9-0 run in the middle of the fourth while Wade and LeBron were taking a breather.
The Heat do look better this season. It’s not about the big three, who have been fantastic, and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down as the season reaches its midway mark. Depth, despite not making big changes, while having Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem to come off the bench for the full season this time. Norris Cole has been nothing but a pleasant surprise, adding 12 points off the bench, as usual. Shane Battier’s contribution doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but he’ll be very useful come playoff time, no matter how much he plays.
And putting all those praising behind us, it’ll fall to the big three. To Chris Bosh, who will need to keep that aggressive mode he’s been in for most of the season, and to LeBron James, who’ll need to make that switch in his head when the games don’t go exactly as planned, coming down to a few shots at the end. Dwyane Wade? He’s the best clutch shooter on this team, and him finally finding his shooting form needs to stay relevant when the postseason begins.