Miami Heat Go for 25 Straight Wins When They Host Detroit Pistons

Matt ParkerContributor IIIMarch 23, 2017

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 25: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat posts up Tayshaun Prince #22 of the Detroit Pistons during a game  at American Airlines Arena on January 25, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons have two choices.

They can become just another foothold in the Miami Heat's climb toward the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' record of 33 straight victories. Or, they can make history of their own by stopping the second-longest winning streak in NBA history at 24 games by beating Miami for a second time this season.

Those are long odds for a Pistons team that has yet to win a game in March. 

Meanwhile, LeBron James and the Heat have appeared to be on cruise control while the rest of the league jostles for poll position as the playoffs approach.

Detroit, on the other hand, will miss the postseason for the fourth year in a row.

In fact, the last time Detroit made the playoffs in 2009, they were swept by James' 66-win Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round.

While the Heat have won their last 24 games by an average of nearly 11 points, close shaves in Boston and Cleveland could serve to wake up the champs.

One gets the sense that the Heat are tired of playing close games against inferior competition.

Returning home, where they are 30-3 this season, after a five-game road trip should help.

The Heat maintain that the streak has served to motivate them and heighten their focus, but some, like's Steve Aschburner, wonder if it will only end up wearing them out, either physically or emotionally.

It's a valid point. 

Is this streak sharpening Miami's sword or just putting more tread on the same tires they'll need to rely on in the playoffs?

The season series between the Heat and the Pistons has been defined by extended one-sided scoring runs.

On Dec. 28, it was Miami surrendering a 15-point bulge to a 24-7 Pistons run they would never overcome.

Then, on Jan. 25, a 28-6 Heat run in the second quarter—17 points courtesy of Dwyane Wade—turned a nine-point deficit into a 13-point cushion.

After trailing early, the Heat would prevail, 110-88. They've lost just twice since.

The loss in Detroit began a pedestrian 9-8 stretch for the Heat leading up to their current 24-game winning streak. They began the season 20-6.

A stumble in Chicago March 27 or failure in San Antonio March 31 would be understandable; but no member of the Heat wants this run to end at home to the lowly Pistons.

The Heat's winning streak has captured the country's attention; Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has to hope Detroit grabs the attention of his Heat team before it's too late.

Because after falling behind by 27 to the Cavaliers—and subsequently coming back to win—he's seen that anything is possible.