With the Heat’s winning streak up to 19, the press which follows its every move with adoring eyes has decided they are unbeatable.
Of course, this is the same press that dogged the Heat’s every move in the sure knowledge LeBron James had no killer instinct or heart; couldn’t play with Dwyane Wade, who was over the hill; that Chris Bosh was even worse than James and wade; and Erik Spolestra was about to go.
I know everybody has switched sides – that’s the nature of things – but that was all within the last year.
Personally, I never thought LeBron was evil, or had no heart. I was delighted to see him win his title and throw it in the world’s face.
Of course, the world changed sides so fast, almost everyone forgets having ever ostracized him.
Nor do I think they’re unbeatable now, despite this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious winning streak.
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For everyone who wondered how I could rank them No. 2 last week when the streak was up to to 15 games, it was easy. The streak is now up to 19 and I’m still keeping them second!
Oh, Gregg Popovich just mailed in another one in Minnesota? Never mind.
The Spurs had done something remarkable and all but ignored, holding off all comers in the much tougher West, winning 30 of their previous 37, including Monday’s game against OKC – while resting or rehabbing all their key players.
James, Wade, Bosh, Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers have missed three games of the last 19 (two by Bosh, one by Allen). Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili missed 23 of the 37. The Spurs went 8-1 without Duncan, 4-1 without Parker and 8-1 without Ginobili.
As to the significance of the Heat’s ascension: What significance?
Happily, the NBA has a postseason tournament – perhaps you’ve heard of it, it’s called the playoffs – to decide who plays for the championship, rather than plugging all our rankings into a computer, BCS-style, and selecting two finalists.
So the pressure’s off! Our opinions are just that and may change entirely and appropriately by next week. One thing is for sure. It’s March, when nothing more is at stake in the NBA than the seeding order and the identity of the last playoff entry or two.
Entertaining as the Lakers’ drive to be included has been, we will have to see how much it matters when the West’s 6-7-8 seeds go on the road in the first round against the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Grizzlies or Nuggets.
Hey, it’s March. The dog days, when the NBA is about to be eclipsed for three weeks by the NCAA Tournament, whose charm can be summed up in four words: Single elimination. Office pools.
In college, it’s called March Madness. In the NBA, you just get through it.
On to the rankings.