March 27, 2013
I never thought I would be writing about this, but we could see two long NBA winning streaks come to an end at the hands of, you guessed it, the New Orleans Hornets. The New Orleans Hornets? That’s right basketball fans. As bad as the Hornets have been this season, they have the chance to become one of the first teams, if not the first, to end two double-digit winning streaks in the same week. They snapped the Denver Nuggets’ 15-game winning-streak on Monday night, beating them 110-86 in New Orleans and, depending on what happens Wednesday night, will have the chance to snap the 2nd longest winning streak in league history on Friday night when the Miami Heat come to town. The Heat play the Chicago Bulls in the windy city on Wednesday to see if they can extend the streak to 28 games. You have to think in a season filled with disappointment, it would make the Hornets’ season if they could snap two winning streaks in a matter of days. The game with the Heat will probably be as close to a playoff atmosphere the Hornets will get to feel all season. What makes this even more intriguing is most people figured it would be games with the San Antonio Spurs where the Nuggets’ and Heat’s streak may die. Both teams have scheduled trips to San Antonio right after games in New Orleans. The Nuggets play the Spurs on Wednesday, while the Heat will be there on Sunday. You could imagine my surprise when I saw the Hornets beat the Nuggets like they did, but I guess anything can happen these days. I know there are a lot of people out there who wonder if I really believe the Hornets can beat the Heat. I would counter that by saying “Why would I not believe the Hornets could beat the Heat?” I don’t want to kid myself because I do understand the Heat should beat the Hornets down on paper, but they don’t play the games on paper. We do have to give the Heat credit where credit is due. What they are doing is nothing short of historic and unprecedented, and winning 27 games in a row is no small feet. At the same time, it’s not like the Heat are rolling over everyone they play. They have had numerous times where they’ve struggled against lottery teams. I know they’ve found a way to win those games at the end, but a play here or there, and those are losses. The Hornets have a lot of young talent on the squad and they would love nothing more than to say they were the ones who ended the Heat’s historic run. Anything is possible on a night in the NBA. To say the Heat are due for a loss is an understatement. It’s also obvious to say the Heat will get every team’s best shot simply because of who they are on top of being the defending champions. Head coach Monty Williams will have the Hornets ready for the Heat’s annual visit to New Orleans, even if Miami’s streak is over by the time they get there. If the streak does survive the Bulls, you can expect the Hornets’ nest to be buzzing on Friday night. Don’t be surprised if the Heat feel the sting.
By Charles Taylor