Getting to 60 wins is quite an achievement for the Miami Heat, reaching that mark for only the second time in franchise history, but it doesn’t make too much of a celebration cause when you’re already an NBA champion, and only thinking about winning the next ring. Maybe for guys like Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony, who were also with the team when they lost 67 games six seasons ago it’s a little bit different.
Things have changed drastically for the Heat after winning the NBA title in 2006, the first in franchise history. Shaquille O’Neal aged by 5 years in 12 months, and they were swept in the first round of the 2007 playoffs by the Chicago Bulls. The next year, they didn’t have Shaquille anymore, while Wade missed almost half of the season, leading to lineups with players like Mark Blount, Ricky Davis and Chris Quinn to try and salvage the ship. It ended in a 15-67 record, the team’s worst since the inaugural year in 1988-1989.
Udonis Haslem also missed quite a big chunk of that season while Joel Anthony, who has seen his importance in the rotation of the Miami Heat being eroded over the last couple of seasons with the switch to a no-center, small-ball kind of approach, was going through his rookie season, playing in only 24 games.
With a healthy Dwyane Wade and not much more, it seemed that 45-50 wins and a first round exit was pretty much the ceiling for the Heat under Erik Spoelstra. But LeBron James and Chris Bosh changed everything the Heat have been about, eventually giving Riley and Wade their second NBA title. Maybe for them, being part of a 60-win season for the first time ever, knowing what it feels like to lose almost every game they play, means a little bit more.