When the Miami Heat won 27 games in a row last season, a streak that was just six games shy of the most consecutive wins in NBA history, it was hard to fault Erik Spoelstra’s squad for playing down to their competition at times. One win took a LeBron James game-winner to lift Miami over the lowly Orlando Magic at home. Another was a two-point win over the Rajon Rondo-less Boston Celtics. Still another was a three-point come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers after Miami fell behind by 27 in the third quarter.
It’s no surprise then, that the two-time defending champions are showing two of the same things they did throughout the regular season last year: going on long winning streaks that look effortless, and playing down to their competition almost every step of the way. The Heat were riding a 10-game win streak coming into last night’s home game against the Detroit Pistons, but hadn’t exactly looked stellar on their way there. Here’s how the Heat avoided having their streak snapped before finally giving in.