Less than two weeks ago, the Miami Heat were celebrating their eighth win in a row following a 124-107 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats, thanks in large part to LeBron James scoring a career and franchise-record 61 points. Since that game, Miami has lost five of their last six games including a 107-111 loss against the Nuggets on Friday.
The Heat now have fewer than 20 games remaining in the regular season. If they want that coveted top seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, they need to figure out what they're doing wrong because now with a three game lead in the conference standings, the Indiana Pacers have started to separate themselves as the true Beast of the East.
While they've already secured a spot in the Playoffs, Miami knows this is the part of the season that can make it or break it. "This moment will either define our season or end our season," James said after Miami's loss to Denver last Friday. "Obviously, it won't end right now, but if it carries on to the playoffs, it will."
Slumps like this happen to nearly every team during the course of a season, but what separates the great ones from the mediocre teams is how (if possible) they can right the ship. "It's a tough stretch," Dwyane Wade said. "Obviously, we haven't been in a stretch like this since probably the 2010-11 season when we lost five in a row. When we were in that stretch, we had to figure it out."
The 2010 skid Wade was talking about was during the first season with LeBron and Chris Bosh taking their talents to South Beach. It was also in March that season that Miami had their issues, losing consecutive home games for the first time that season as part of a four-game losing streak.
"I think it's dire consequences now," Chris Bosh said. "Maybe three out of four, two out of three ... (but) you get to four out of five, five out of six, you know that, to our standards, that's unacceptable." One way for Miami to start making amends would be to win their next game against Houston, the team that started Miami's losing ways after a 103-106 loss on March 4. Tipoff for the Rockets game is scheduled for 3:30pm EST this Sunday.