Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat are arguably the hottest team in the National Basketball Association right now; but the Heat has done it without being in the headlines and instead is simply letting their game do the talking.
The Heat has been aided in their quest for anonymity with the rise of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. The undrafted guard out of Harvard has captivated New York and the national sports media like few players have in recent years.
According to the website deadspin.com, Jeremy Lin was mentioned 350 times on ESPN’s SportsCenter from February 10-16. That translated to roughly 0.93 mentions of Jeremy Lin per minute on SportsCenter.
As the spotlight turned to Jeremy Lin, the Heat has turned on the gas and is not just beating teams; they’re destroying them.
The Heat has won six straight games, with the majority being on the road, by double-digits. But as Linsanity grips the media, it’s pulling coverage away from the Heat.
After last year’s full season of Big Three coverage, the lack of coverage during the current winning streak is something that’s being loved by LeBron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh.
“If it was packed in here right now, it would mean we were losing,” Wade said. “When we look over and see a lot of people in here, we’re not playing well.”
“It’s quiet as hell around here and we’re doing pretty good,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said. “But that’s to be expected. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s just the name of the game. That’s the business. That’s how it’s always going to be. You’re more of a story when you have controversy.”
It’s one of the catch-22’s for the Miami Heat. When they win, no one cares and it’s expected. But when the Heat loses, it’s controversy and something has to be wrong with one of the Big Three or the rest of the Heat’s roster.
LeBron is the frontrunner for the MVP award in the NBA this season. All the while, the Heat’s are getting even stronger as the season hits the mid-point of the season.
Miami is shooting 49.2 percent from the field during the winning streak and is holding opponents to just 39.3 percent from the field.
Plus, the Heat will send six different players to All-Star weekend in Orlando this weekend.
“We’re comfortable in our world now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday. “There can be a lot of noise. It can be relatively minimal noise. I think we’re able now to compartmentalize and focus on what’s real, our team and trying to improve and trying to get ourselves ready to play at our optimal level during the playoffs. That’s the only thing that matters.”
The Heat seems to be much better-prepared to handle the hoopla that comes with being a member of this superbly talented team.
Add in the fact the team has developed a deeper bench with quality role players, and it’s easy to see why the rest of the NBA is starting to take notice of just how good the Heat are playing.
“It’s great,” Wade said. “We’re focusing on what we need to do. The only attention we’re thinking about is giving each other the attention that we need as a team and making sure that everyone in here knows how they important they are to our success and what our goal is. Our goal is to be the best team in the NBA at the end of the year and not right now.”