What Miami Heat Can Learn from Remaining Regular Season Games
Now with the 27-game winning streak behind them, the Heat can focus on trying to learn what they've needed to work on over the past few months.
It's easy to be blinded by success, and that's exactly where the Heat are at. With a notch in the loss column for the first time in nearly two months, the Heat can come back to reality and start focusing on what's important.
With just 11 games left on their schedule they still have a lot to learn if they want to repeat, and that learning process begins now.
The Importance of Focusing on the Intricacies of the Game
With the 27-game winning streak behind them, the Heat can now focus on the little parts of the game that have been overshadowed by their recent run.
Things like finding bodies when shots go up, not forcing shots early in the shot clock, forcing turnovers to get into transition and the list goes on.
Those kind of things are exactly what the Heat need to work on now if they want to repeat this season.
Now that they've lost, they have a lot to work on.
And if you saw how frustrated LeBron looked after the Heat's loss to Chicago, I think it's safe to say he's ready to do some serious work on every facet of the game with his team.
If They Can Win Against a Full San Antonio Spurs Team
Every one and their mothers keyed on the Heat's matchup with the San Antonio Spurs as the game that could end the Heat's winning streak.
Well, that already happened, so now it's simply going to be a battle for the top spot in the NBA and a chance to prove they can beat the best in the West.
Beating the Spurs is no easy task. It will take discipline, intensity on both sides of the ball and extremely efficient play. This will be the Heat's chance to show they can be that kind of team when they need to be.
While a 33-game winning streak would have been truly remarkable, the Heat can now focus on the biggest game remaining on their schedule--their March 31 matchup with the Spurs.
It will be interesting to see how the Heat matchup with the size of the Spurs and the backcourt pressure brought by Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
The lessons the Heat learn in this matchup could be pivotal to winning back-to-back NBA titles, considering the Spurs could meet them in the NBA Finals.
Either way, you won't want to miss the Heat vs. Spurs on March 31. It will show the NBA what the Heat are really made of.
How Valuable Rest Is
Whether the Miami Heat admit it or not, striving for the longest winning streak in NBA history meant something to them.
Now that it's over, they'll be able to focus on winning home-court advantage throughout the playoffs and then enter a much-needed rest period before the playoffs get under way.
Every team on the Heat's recent 27-game winning streak was trying with a bit more "umph" to knock them off, and that had to wear on the Heat.
With the streak over, the Heat can get back to the typical grind of their schedule and they'll certainly enjoy not being asked questions about the streak night in and night out.
The Heat can now rest, both emotionally and physically and that is going to be extremely important for them as they head into the home stretch of their incredible season.
Just How Much They Can Rely on Their Second Unit
That means increased minutes for the Heat's second unit once Miami locks up the best record in the NBA, or at least the Eastern Conference.
This will allow players like Norris Cole, Chris Andersen and even Rashard Lewis to get increased minutes and subsequently, time to work on their game as the season ends.
There's no doubt that the Heat can't make another championship run without bench production, and it has been lacking as of late.
The increased time that the bench players will most likely get during the Heat's final four or five games could be pivotal in their playoff run.
Time on the floor and chemistry are two enormous factors that play into success in the postseason, and that's something the Heat's bench unit will get over the final stretch of the regular season.
Remembering How Much Fun Being the Top Team in the NBA Can Be
Sure, winning a billion straight games is fun. But there sure was a lot of stress that came along with that winning streak.
While no one wearing a Heat jersey would admit that their winning streak was stressful, it's clear that it took its toll on the Heat.
Now the Heat can focus on just being the best team in the NBA, starting with owning the top spot in the Eastern Conference by 11.5 games over the New York Knicks.
All Miami needs to do from this point on is focus on playing its game. Focus on starting games strong and finishing even stronger.
Without the pressure of beating the 1971-72 Lakers' record on them, Miami can take time to just enjoy being the best.
Being able to take a step back and look at just how dominant they've been over the past two months will be refreshing for them, and it hopefully will give them the energy they need to finish the season as strong as they've played as of late.