On Tuesday night the Miami Heat finished their back-to-back-to-back stretch, 3-0, with a win in Indiana. The final score of 105-90 was hardly indicative of what really ensued on Valentine’s Day. Indiana was like the innocent housewife who took a beating from its highly abusive boyfriend, Miami. Miami led by 17 points after the first quarter, 29 points at halftime, and at one point led by as much as 35 points. This is the third time in a row that Miami has beaten it’s opponent on the road by double figures, and the Heat have never looked better since their aquisition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
One could point the finger at LeBron and proclaim that he is having one of the best starts to a regular season in his 8-year career. However, the truth of the matter is that the Miami Heat have never had their core of rotation players healthy. Udonis Haslem is relentlessly attacking the boards, Mike Miller is swishing his open three’s, and Shane Battier is keeping everyone intact like Elmer’s glue. Not to mention, we have a point guard named Norris Cole, who is playing lights out and should highly be considered as a front runner for rookie the year. Udonis Haslem finished the game with 9 rebounds, Shane Battier didn’t miss from the field, and Norris Cole dropped 20 on the Pacers. Who knew that health was this important?
At this exact moment last year, Mike Miller was ailing on the bench, Udonis Haslem was out for the season, Shane Battier was playing for the Memphis Grizzlies, and Norris Cole was hoping he would get drafted into the NBA. Now that Miami has all of their rotation players back, the Heat are crushing opponents with flying colors. Let’s not forget about the “Big 3” who have a year of experience under their belt and a diligent Erik Spoelstra who has preached all the right things to his players. This includes defense, team identity, and togetherness. LeBron, who finished with a near triple double, put it perfectly after the game, “We gotta trust, we gotta communicate, and we gotta help each other.” If arguably the best player on the Miami Heat is preaching this, there must be something that Erik Spoelstra is doing right. The Chosen One racked up 23 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and after Miami’s back-to-back-to-back all the King could say was, “I’m looking for a day off. Tomorrow’s going to be the best day of my life.”