Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Roundtable: Ending the Miami Heat's Winning Streak

How long can the Miami Heat continue this winning streak? (

BDD's Friday Roundtable is a weekly discussion among a group of our writers on a trending NBA or college basketball topic.

This week's question: The Miami Heat have strung together 24 consecutive wins. When will they lose next?

Cleveland, Cleveland, Cleveland. What are we going to do with you? You still hold a grudge against LeBron James that will probably never end, yet should have ended long ago, and an opportunity falls into your lap Wednesday night to get a small piece of revenge. The Heat had won 23 straight times and you had them down nine at the start of the fourth quarter (nine!), but you couldn't finish it. LeBron bested you once again.

The Heat will continue this streak to 26 fairly easily, with the next two games against Detroit and Charlotte. The Bulls (March 27 in Chicago) and Knicks (April 2 in Miami) both have beaten Miami this year and could pose threats to the Heat's streak. I would say the Knicks, if they can wake up from this shooting slumber they've been in, are the biggest threat in recent games.

Still, nothing tells me the Heat won't be able to overcome both of those teams to keep the streak alive until ... the Boston Celtics come to South Beach on April 12. If it plays out like this, Miami would be sitting at 35 consecutive wins - beating the 1972 Lakers all-time streak of 33 - before Boston, with possibly a more healthy Kevin Garnett, gives the Heat their first loss since Feb. 1. Boston has defeated its newly heated rival (pun intended) two of the three meetings so far this year and are looking to avenge a 105-103 loss on March 18. The last two meetings have been decided by two points and there is plenty of intensity when these two teams meet, which would make for a great ending to Miami's streak.

The first round of the playoffs, if the Milwaukee Bucks stay pat on their course for the eighth seed. It took Miami overtime to beat the Bucks in November before Larry Sanders became LARRY SANDERS! and the two teams have split a pair of games since, with Milwaukee claiming a 104-85 victory in a post-Christmas, pre-New Year's haze. The Bucks travel to Miami once more this season, but have the unfortunate luck of landing in the midst of an easy streak for the Heat, right after games against the Bobcats and 76ers, so a win will be hard to come by.

The Bucks won three of four match-ups with the Heat last season. Both teams were very different, but with history on their side and the law of averages steering their players toward simultaneous hot games, the Bucks won't allow the Heat to go for four straight wins immediately in the playoffs. Milwaukee's win may not happen until game four, but it will happen.

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