Breaking Down What Heat Role Players Are Contributing to Streak

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Breaking Down What Heat Role Players Are Contributing to Streak
Gary Bogdon/Getty Images
The good times continue for the Heat's supporting cast.

Twenty-seven up. 

Twenty-seven down.

You don't accomplish that sort of perfection with just a Big Three.

The Miami Heat's winning streak, the second-longest in NBA history, has been driven by LeBron James—and James has gotten plenty of assistance from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

But he's also gotten help from the so-called "Little 12," the moniker that the supporting players on the Heat have given themselves, and which Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem chanted as Ray Allen was interviewed at halftime of the March 25 win in Orlando.

After two-plus seasons of tinkering, coach Erik Spoelstra has found a fairly consistent rotation, using Chalmers and Udonis Haslem as starters; Allen, Shane Battier, Chris Andersen and Norris Cole as regulars off the bench; and Mike Miller and Rashard Lewis as spot players, with Miller getting two more recent starts.

As Spoelstra said after the March 24 win against Charlotte,

We almost had everybody contributing, and that's good to see. Because we will need it, and guys need to stay ready. And you never know when your number will be called.. It's so unpredictable when you get to that postseason. You don't know when your number is called, but from our experience the past two years, everybody has been called upon at some point, all the way down the roster.

With respect to Miller (5-1 as a starter), Lewis (who made three three-pointers against Orlando) and Haslem (whose jumper has been steadier of late), five Heat role players have been especially essential during the streak.

*All quotes in this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Heat for the Palm Beach Post. All statistics were accurate as of Tuesday afternoon.

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