It was supposed to be what NBA people call a “scheduled loss.” The Miami Heat playing for the second night in a row, and on the road.
Instead, a “Let’s Go Heat” chant broke out at Madison Square Garden in New York, as Miami dismantled the hometown Knicks.
“It was great, Heat nation is worldwide. We out here,” Heat guard Josh Richardson told Fox Sports Sun after the game.
The Heat is playing it cool, but it’s time to take a moment to appreciate this ridiculous run.
Not only did the Heat crush the Knicks for their 26th win in 34 games, they did it again without a key player.
Dion Waiters missed his 6th straight game with an ankle injury, and yet the Heat still persevered, which is the story of this bizarre season.
“We’re just hard-headed, stubborn and love each other to death,” said Heat forward James Johnson, who scored 18 points off the bench in the win over the Knicks.
Hassan Whiteside, playing with a bandage on his shooting hand after cutting it on the backboard, believes team chemistry has a lot to do with the Heat’s surge in the standings.
“We built. The season started out with strangers, strangers became friends, and then friends became family,” Whiteside said.
The Heat’s incredible turnaround now has them in a solid playoff position, tied with Indiana for 7th place in the Eastern Conference, with 7 games left in the season.
Their record during the second half of the season is the best in the Eastern Conference, far better than the top-seeded, defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
2nd half of the NBA season:
Miami Heat: 26-8
Cleveland Cavs: 17-15
Has the 7th or 8th seed ever been this much better in the 2nd half of the season than the 1 seed? It seems impossible.
Yet another riddle in an unprecedented Heat season. For the first half of the season, they weren’t a good three-point shooting team. Now they’ve become one of the best, making 12-25 against the Knicks Wednesday night.
A few months ago, Heat fans were just hoping for a good draft pick. Now, they’re thinking playoffs. And it might not be long before they believe that winning a playoff series (or more?) is possible.