Lynne Sladky/Associated Press/Associated Press
Another title chase isn't slowing down Ray Allen and the Heat.
The battle for the NBA championship begins Thursday, giving Miami nearly a week of rest.
This is a good thing, as the Heat have been to the NBA Finals for four consecutive years. The sheer amount of games required to get to the finals—along with the added playoff pressure—accumulates quickly. Sean Deveney of Sporting News broke down the numbers:
Miami, though, is back, playing for a championship for the fourth straight year. The win on Friday moved them to 12-3 in the postseason, and makes them 58-24 in the playoffs over the last four years. That means that Miami has played a full, extra 82 games over the course of the last four playoffs. They’ve played five seasons in four years.
If the Heat are worn out by their extra season, they certainly don’t look like it. Miami quietly downed the Charlotte Bobcats in four games, the Brooklyn Nets in five and the Pacers in six.
Individually, every player on the roster appears healthy and in shape. Ray Allen, at 38 years old, is still capable of scoring outbursts like he had in the fourth quarter of Game 3. Lewis has found his niche with the team, looking the best he ever has in a Heat uniform. The only player who missed most of the Eastern Conference Finals was Andersen.
Also, Erik Spoelstra expertly handled Wade’s minutes throughout the regular season. That has clearly helped the brittle shooting guard, who hasn’t just played in every playoff game but every practice and shootaround as well, as Spoelstra told The Palm Beach Post’s Matt Porter during the Brooklyn series.
LeBron isn’t human, of course, so he doesn’t need rest.
So postseason fatigue has not and will not be an issue for Miami in the playoffs. The Spurs have had their fair share of playoff games too, so any advantage would likely be minimal in that category.