March 28, 2013
On Wednesday, I wrote a story about how the New Orleans Hornets could have a chance to become one of the first teams, if not the first in NBA history, to break two double-digit winning streaks in the same week. On Monday night, the Hornets defeated the the Denver Nuggets 110-86 to stop Denver’s 15-game winning streak, and they would’ve had the chance to stop the Miami Heat’s long winning streak on Friday night if the Heat could get by the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. As many of you know by now, the Heat’s 27-game winning streak was ended by the Bulls, with Chicago winning 101-97. This may come as a surprise to many since a lot of people felt like the Heat were unbeatable and the only potential loss people saw was when the Heat visit the San Antonio Spurs on Easter Sunday. For me, it’s just another example of the unpredictability of the NBA. I’m not going to tell you I predicted the Bulls were going to win last night, especially since they didn’t have two of their best players in point guard Derrick Rose and forward/center Joakim Noah. I figured the Bulls might give the Heat a game, but I just didn’t think they had enough scoring, or bodies, to pull of the upset. I figured the Hornets might be a dangerous game for the Heat because it was right between a game in Chicago and a trip to San Antonio. In other words, it was the perfect “trap” game. Don’t get me wrong, the Hornets will still be fired up to see the Heat come to the Big Easy on Friday, but give the Bulls a lot of credit for not using all of the injuries as an excuse and coming out to compete at a high level. As for the Heat, we can’t lose sight of what they were able to accomplish. They compiled the second-longest winning streak in NBA history and they never took any nights off. It was interesting to watch how far they could take this winning streak, but in the end, the law of averages just caught up to them. Remember, I did say the Heat were due for a loss, I just didn’t know when. A team can only go so long, getting every team’s best shot night after night, without losing a few. The fact the Heat are the defending champions only adds to everyone’s desire to take them down. As a person who has repeatedly criticized the Heat ever since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh came together, I’m here to pay the ultimate respect to the Heat for keeping this streak going as long as they did. I guess Miami will have the chance to start a new streak, instead of keeping an old one alive, when they visit New Orleans on Friday.
By Charles Taylor