With accomplishments come expectations.
And so, what would otherwise be considered a strong first half of the season for the Miami Heat (28 wins in the first 41 games) has actually seemed a bit underwhelming.
That win total was actually fewer, by two and three games, than Miami had accrued over the first 41 games of the past two seasons.
“It’s just kind of weird,” Chris Bosh said. “Because any other team, any other year, it would be A-plus, great, we’re in first place in the East. But because we’re ourselves, we expect better. The only thing that we’re expecting is a championship."
That's the least of what Heat fans are expecting also.
"We have to get better in pretty much every area," Bosh said. "We have to clean up a lot of things.”
They do, though in game No. 42 they did, routing the Nets by 20. In the third quarter of that contest, they showed themselves at their best, outscoring Brooklyn 36-14 by swarming on defense and sharing on offense.
They'll need more of that in the weeks to come, to fend off challenges in the East, especially if Chicago (Derrick Rose) and Indiana (Danny Granger) get healthy, and the Knicks, who have beaten Miami twice by 20, manage to sustain their hot shooting.
“If we had more consistency on the road, we’d probably have more of a cushion, and we’d probably be knocking on the door of the best record in the league,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.
It may be too late for that.
Still, there are some attainable goals the rest of the way.
(All quotes in this piece were collected through the course of the writer's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post. All statistics were accurate as of Thursday afternoon.)