The Miami Heat are coming off one of their more impressive weekends in a while. While the competition that they faced wasn’t necessarily top tier, the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday and the upward trending Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, it wasn’t about the wins themselves, as much as how they got it done.
In both games, they started out pretty evenly. The first half score on Sunday was 65-58 in Miami’s favor.
Yes, the Heat led, but it wasn’t anything insurmountable. In the Cleveland game, the first half tally was 67-60, in favor of Miami as well.
The seven point leads at half weren’t the only similarities though. The Miami Heat continued to pile on to their leads in both second halves, outscoring the Cavaliers by 10 in the second half of that game and though only by three points in the second half to Charlotte, according to the final score, the Miami Heat were up 13 or so in the half before both coaches essentially cleared the benches in the last four minutes of the contest.
The Miami Heat had an encouraging weekend, but it was more about how they did what they did, as oppose to what they actually did.
At the end of each contest though, the Miami Heat’s combined first and second half leads led to pretty decent final tallies, as far as the gaps between the two teams in each respective contest. They beat the Cavaliers by 17 in the end and wound up stinging the Hornets by 10 in the end, but do keep in mind the 10 points or so spotted to them in the last four minutes… or garbage time.
Why is any of this important or worthy of a mention though? It’s fairly simple.
The Miami Heat have constantly played down to their competition all season long, often times allowing teams that weren’t supposed to even be there, to hang in games. For the Cavaliers, they did exactly what they were supposed to do to a team that currently ranks 13th in the conference.
Even against a Charlotte team that is fighting for their playoff lives, jousting with the Heat in all honesty, and that currently sits eighth in the seedings, the Miami Heat looked like the better team and that’s because they are. If you look at their two previous contests this season and both Miami Heat losses, they were the better teams then too, however, the final scores didn’t say so.
That’s been the case all too often for the Heat this year but on this weekend, it was not. The fact that they have shown you that they can handle their business against the teams they are supposed to beat, in back to back games, and so close to the postseason, whatever the beginning of that looks like for them, is a great sign for their chances as they gear up to conquer it all.
The Miami Heat have been an inconsistent bunch all year, but a productive and very capable bunch when right and operating as they should. This weekend shows you that those particular iterations of the Heat, the ones that look like the bubble team from a year ago and in games like wins against the Jazz during their hot play, a semi-healthy Lakers team with LeBron James, and a win against Milwaukee early in the season without Jimmy Butler, aren’t the anomalies, but just extensions of who they should and can be at their peaks.
That’s the most encouraging takeaway from the back to back weekend wins on Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, it carries over, as they have a problem named Luka coming in on Tuesday.