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The Heat tried to avoid the subject as long as was humanly possible, but their now-24-game winning streak has become impossible to ignore (via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com).
Miami's sustained success has reached a level only one other team in league has ever eclipsed—the 1970-71 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 straight regular-season games.
Former coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy sparked a mini controversy during ABC's NBA broadcast on Sunday when he said if he played for the Heat, he'd rather break the winning streak record than win an NBA title (via ESPN.com, ESPN Insider subscription required).
It's a ludicrous statement on the surface—legacies are built on championships, not regular-season achievements—but one that's not difficult to digest. There have been 66 NBA champions crowned, and only one team has ever seen this level of prolonged dominance.
I'm not sure I'd go so far as to echo Van Gundy's sentiment, but the message is clear. James, a noted historian of the game, understands the significance of this achievement. All of the Heat players do too, for that matter.
And they don't even need to say it for us to understand. How else do you explain erasing two double-digit second-half deficits (17 points against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, 27 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday) in as many games?