The Miami Heat lost on the road Monday to the Atlanta Hawks 121-114. Asked if it was time to panic, the Heat’s Chris Bosh replied succinctly, per Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, “If you’re panicked, you’re an idiot.”
It’s not just about this particular game, however. The Heat are now 5-5 over their last. That isn’t a disastrous record by any stretch, but the back-to-back defending champions are being held to a higher standard.
Recently, Sean Highkin of USA Today wrote about a three-game losing streak:
Might there be cracks in the Miami Heat’s armor? Is the Heat’s run of NBA championships about to come to an end? The Heat began the season at 13-5 odds to win the NBA championship for a third consecutive season. But they have lost three games in a row for the first time in two years. They now have 9-5 odds to win the title.
The Heat now return home to face the Boston Celtics in the second half of a back-to-back Tuesday night.
The issue of panic is highly overblown. The Heat are still comfortably in second place in the Eastern Conference, and the season is only halfway over.
Still, there’s something not often mentioned about a team seeking a three-peat, and that’s the incredible mental and physical toll championship runs take. There’s a reason so few clubs can pull off three in a row.
There’s also the matter of the East-leading Indiana Pacers, who have a ridiculous .825 winning percentage (33-7). Indiana also happens to be the team that pushed the Heat to a Game 7 last year in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Bosh was right when he made his “idiot” statement. Panic is not remotely part of the picture—certainly not yet, anyway.