Saturday, February 25, 2012

Miami Heat: Under the Radar

By Keith Antigiovanni

After the Miami Heat's underachieving performance in the 2011 NBA Finals the team is going under the NBA radar through the first half of the season with a 27-7 record and 8 game winning streak.

Because of the ridiculous media hype before the 2010-2011 season when Lebron James and Chris Bosh signed Miami was already given the NBA title and labeled a "dynasty" but the reality is that the Heat made huge strides last year and have improved every year since 2008 when they went 15-67.

Another factor to consider is that the Dallas Mavericks victory in the Finals last year was no fluke. The Mavericks had been to the playoffs in 11 straight years and missed out on their first NBA title in 2006 when Miami beat them in 6 games.

In only two years after Miami won the title they finished at 15-67 which prompted former Coach Pat Riley to step down and go back to his General Manager job. Riley then hired former assistant Erik Spoelstra. Under Spoelstra they have gone from 15-67 in 2008 to 43-39 in 2009, 47-35 in 2010 and then 58-24 in 2011 with the Southeast and Eastern titles.

This year the expectations were not as high but Spoelstra's team shares the best record in the NBA with the Western Conference leader Oklahoma City Thunder. If Miami keeps winning will the hype from last year return? Will Lebron James wilt under the pressure to win his first NBA title? Only time will tell but what we do know is that Miami is now one of the premier franchises in the NBA.

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