The Miami Heat's win streak came to an end last week against the Chicago Bulls. The team's 27 straight wins were the second most in NBA history, only fewer than the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers with 32. Let's look at just how special this was.
Love them or hate them, as a basketball fan you have to respect what the Heat did. And there are a lot of haters out there. Whether it is because they formed a super team with the additions of stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh to a team that already featured Dwayne Wade or simply because people don't like LeBron for leaving Cleveland. Either way there's no denying that the streak was fun to watch.
Maybe it was a little annoying to see nothing but streak coverage on SportsCenter for the better part of a month, but it was well deserved. Two-thirds of the league hasn't even had a six-game winning streak this season. This was a once-in-a-lifetime type of run.
I believe the key to the Heat's success is a result of something that happens off of the floor. These guys have fun and truly enjoy one another's company. From their viral YouTube "Harlem Shake" video to their "photo-bombs," it's easy to see that the Heat's players are enjoying themselves while playing the game they love.
It also doesn't hurt that their two best players, James and Wade, are best friends.
For me, the most impressive part of the streak was how the team showed up every night, never taking a game or an opponent for granted. They never took a night off.
Six times during the streak, the Heat won on back-to-back nights. That's unheard of. They lost once in February and once in March. They had 13 road wins and 14 home wins. The Heat has beaten every team in the NBA at least once this season.
My favorite part of the streak was a game from mid-March in Cleveland, the house that LeBron James built. The Heat faced a Cavalier team without its two best players, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, and overcame a 27-point second-half deficit to beat the Cavs 98-95.
James recorded a triple-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Nineteen of his points came in the second half, in which the Heat outscored the Cavs 64-40. Take that, Cleveland. His second half was one of the best individual performances I've ever seen.
During the streak, James was on fire. He shot 56 percent from the field and averaged 26.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.9 assists. He did everything he needed to do to will his team to victory night in and night out. The man is in the prime of his career, and it's scary how well he is playing.
There is no doubt in my mind that James is on his way to his second consecutive and fourth overall NBA MVP. He's only 28 years old.
But has the Heat peaked too soon? Has it spent too much energy during this run? There are two weeks left in the regular season and the Heat has virtually locked up the number one seed in the Eastern conference.
Anything short of a championship will be a bust for James and company. This has been the case ever since James and Bosh stepped foot in South Beach. Frankly, I don't see any reason why they won't raise their second title banner in as many years.
I think this streak and this season will be one that we will never forget. And I think this James will only continue to amaze us as he progresses in his pursuit to be one of the best, if not the best, to ever play the game.