Even while bruised and battered, Heat turn slump into streak, 'This is the fun part'

Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

MIAMI — At least now they’re coming clean.

There is another gear. There is a greater focus. The next level has been activated.

For all the every-game-matters discourse the previous four months, acknowledgement of go-time has arrived for the Miami Heat.

March matters, opening with Saturday night’s victory over the Utah Jazz. Just as April matters even more.

“This,” forward Jimmy Butler said, “is the fun part. This is what you do the entire summer, the preseason, before All-Star break. And now you get to show out and show everybody who you are as an individual and as a player and who your team is.

“And right now is when we all want to be playing. We want to keep winning. We want to play into June.”


Which makes this the setup, with playoff seeding the balance in a tight race in the middle of the Eastern Conference.

So out of the misery of January’s seven-game losing streak has come this current run of 10 victories in the past 13 games that the Heat will take into Tuesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons at Kaseya Center.

“We good,” Butler continued. “We don’t talk about losing streaks. I don’t even know what happened. But we’ve been telling you all along, we’re going to be just fine. We see who we are, and have to continue to like pour into that.

“So when we’re guarding, we ain’t even worried about offense. We’re worried about the defensive end. The game’s easy. So we knew who we were when we were on the losing streak. So, we’re fine.”


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