So what's the word you would commonly associate with a 24-game winning streak?
How about resilient? And resourceful?
The reality is that the Miami Heat have been more of the latter two, as they have improved their record from 29-14 on February 1—after a loss to the Indiana Pacers—to 53-14 as of March 20, when they stormed back to edge the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Close calls? They have had more than a few, and most of them have come against the teams that many would assume they would handle the easiest.
In the 12 games against likely playoff qualifiers, the Heat have won by an average of 11.6 points.
In the 12 games against teams likely to miss the playoffs, the Heat have won by an average of 10.3 points.
That doesn't necessarily surprise those who have watched the Heat closely since the start of the season, and seen how their energy level clearly spikes and dips due to the relative quality of the opponent.
That's how they roll, so to speak—against the dregs, it takes some time to get rolling.
There have been so many surprising challenges from overmatched opponents that two of the tighter games during the streak—a five-point home win against Charlotte on February 4 and a four-point home win against Cleveland on February 24—don't even make the cut.
So which five do?
(All quotes for the piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post. All statistics are accurate as of Thursday afternoon.)