Coming home from a rough west coast road-trip, The Miami Heat had a pretty good idea of the tough schedule ahead. The first week of games were all against Division Leaders, a week in which Miami did quite well, knocking off each 1st place team with relative ease. The strong play becomes even more impressive when you remember that Miami did it without the play of Dwyane Wade, who has been sidelined by an ankle injury suffered in Denver.
Now its kinda like we're moving into the second half of this extended hoemstand, and this half could very well end up being just as challenging as the first four games. It begins on Saturday night when Miami will welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to South Florida for their first visit of the season. Even though its been over a year, and the game is in Miami (not OHIO), I still think there will be a lot more attention being paid to this ‘LeBron vs. Cleveland' matchup then the one actually being played on the court. Hopefully this is a game in which the Heat take control of relatively early so they can rest most of their regulars during the late stages of the game.
As soon as the game against the Cavs is over, Erik Spoelstra will gather his troops and head immediately to the airport where they will catch a charter flight to chilly Detroit. Taking into account the early-morning arrival time (likely around 3-4am), the team will probably not have a mandatory shootaround or workout. I'm sure some players will get their work in, but this gives guys who are a little under the weather or are nursing along injuries another opportunity to rest and heal.
Following Wednesday's game up in Auburn Hills, the Heat defrost their plain one last time. Their next flight brings them right back home for another 3 contests at the AAA, with the final game also wrapping up the month of January for the Heat. It's no secret that they want to finish the Month strong, and they have as good of an opportunity to do that, with or without Dwyane Wade in the lineup.
As much as I would love to get D-Wade back in the lineup sometime this month, there is really no need for the Heat to rush Wade along. It's still a pretty long season ahead, and as long as Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers and the rest of them are READY when the playoffs get here, I have no need to hurry Wade along.
The Heat have by far one of the best ‘behind the scenes' crew; trainers, doctors, surgeons, the equipment crew, locker room attendants and plenty others whose 24-7 job is to make sure they do everything possible to prepare and take care of the Miami Heat. We already know that those guys all will be doing their jobs perfectly (as always) so that all the Heat need worry about is winning.
Hopefully they'll do just that and get out of January with nothing but victories. Right now, the Miami has a pretty mediocre record in the month of January. With 5 games to go this month, the Heat are 7-5 in January. Here's to hoping that win total goes up by 5 before we run out of days this month. Here is how the rest of January's schedule pans out:
Tue, Jan 24th vs. Cleveland. Wed, Jan 25th @ Detroit. Fri, Jan 27th vs. New York
Sun, Jan 29th vs. Chicago. Mon, Jan 30th,vs, New Orleans