Guess they listened.
Last week we said, the Miami Heat were at a crossroad.
This week, the Heat have walked through, made dinner, killed a lion and then did it again, all while walking left in their big fork in the road. They’re not out of the neck of the woods just yet, because this oddly scheduled but weird long road trip isn’t over for at least another week.
They’ll have to travel to Houston, Dallas, and then Charlotte but at least, they’re all games Miami could win. Don’t look now but the Heat have a four-game winning streak and they are fourth in the Eastern Conference.
The biggest part of the reason for the turnaround during the season is because of the two leaders on the team, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Heat when it comes to injuries in the last two years alone, they’ve seen their season go from championship expectations all the way to the bottom of the NBA standings just because of injuries. Last year we got to see Bosh and Wade miss a lot of time for their respective injuries and consequently, Miami had a 37-45 record and missed the playoffs.
This year the Heat haven’t had to worry too much about their All-Stars because they’ve come back healthy and they are back to their normal ways. Chris Bosh has been on a complete tear this year and has played even better than he did last season when he averaged 21.1 points, and 7.0 rebounds a game. Bosh this year is shooting better, hitting the glass harder, and is passing better, averaging 19.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, while shooting 47% from the floor. Heat President Pat Riley had this to say about Bosh for the way that he’s played this year.
“He’s the best big man in the Eastern Conference. Well, I think he’s had the best season of any big man in the East.”
– Pat Riley
— PHSports LiveScores (@LiveScoresPH) January 27, 2016
As for the other elder statesmen on this roster, Dwayne Wade, has been holding on strong. Wade was recently named an All-Star starter and his selection was justified because he’s had a productive year averaging 18.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and shooting 46% from the floor. People love to write him off every year, and each year he comes back ready to play. Wade in his last five games alone has been on a tear most NBA players haven’t achieved. We just call it vintage. Wade’s averaged 23.6 points, 6.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 50% from the floor. Additionally, in those last five games Miami went 4-1 including road wins over two playoff teams in Milwaukee and Chicago, and a road blowout win against Brooklyn.
“I’m so proud of Dwyane and the way he has led and the fact he’s playing every night and getting himself ready to play every night. He knows as well as I do, nobody is ever 100 percent. I’m so proud of Dwyane and how he’s come back and changed the narrative about himself and worked on his body.”
– Pat Riley
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 27, 2016
Can They Lead Again?
For as good as their two All-Stars have been this season, the real question is can they lead this team back to the No. 2 seed of the Eastern Conference.Miami has a world of talent on their team and they’ve been plagued by
We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves and talk about Eastern Conference finals just yet, but we should look to the next immediate goal, attempting to win the East. Miami has a world of talent on their team and they’ve been plagued by injuries in the beginning half of the season. This period right before the All-Star break has been good to them.
After the All-Star break ends it’s assumed Miami will be back with a completely healthy Hassan Whiteside. Goran Dragic will have a bit more of an extended rest since he just came back to the lineup. Meanwhile, Bosh and Wade themselves will also get a bit of a break.
Can Miami start to finally look the second-best team in the Eastern Conference?
“We’re right in the middle of the pack,” Riley said. “It seems as though there’s one team in the East that might be, not head and shoulders, but better than everybody – that being Cleveland. But I think two to 12, it’s going to be a fight. You might be 12 for a week and two the next week.”
– Pat Riley
On the surface, this team should start picking up their winning ways very shortly. Even Bosh himself acknowledged that.
“Things are gonna work,” he said. “I truly believe this team is going to be a very good team, if not a great team. It’s there for us. We’re gonna have the opportunity to weather this storm back on track.”
– Chris Bosh
The worst part about injuries is that you can’t win if you don’t play. The best part about it is knowing that this team is healthy and they’re ready to make that big push, we’ve all been expecting. Now is the time for Wade and Bosh to lead this team to the heights they were destined to achieve.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.