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Game #38: Miami Heat (19-18) vs. Houston Rockets (22-17)

I can understand how after the Heat's last game that some people might be pretty excited.  There were a lot of things that happened in Golden State that would merit some hopes being raised back up.  But this is nothing new for the 09-10 Miami Heat.  They have been running hot and cold all year, and this road trip has been a perfect example.  A surprising and unexpected win over Phoenix, a pair of ass-kicking's in Utah and L.A. and then a dominant effort over the Warriors in which we saw a side of Dwyane Wade that hasn't come out all season. 

I really liked what I heard out of Erik Spoelstra after the win in Oakland.  He has obviously seen enough of this ‘great one night, terrible the next' crapola and wasn't shy about telling reporters after the game just that. 

"We've been here before and enough is enough.  We've proven we can bounce back, but can we develop consistency?  That's what I'm looking for right now with this group.  Sure, it is good to get this win. But let's move on and see if we can continue this."

While you can't just dismiss the Heat's last win (and you shouldn't), there is still a much bigger picture to focus on.  That victory improved the Heat to 8-8 on the road, a very respectable road record.  When you look at that number and the guys on this roster, its hard to believe that they are just 1 game over .500.  On the other hand, it gives you a little comfort when you think about all the road games the Heat are going to be playing in the next few weeks. 

Shifting our focus to the task at hand, the Heat head into Houston to face a Rockets team that has become very tough to beat at home.  After starting the season 4-4 at the Toyota Center, Houston has reeled off 8-straight victories at home including a triple overtime thriller against Minnesota on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, the Heat have won just 1 of their last 6 visits to Houston with the only win coming during the championship season.

This road trip is starting to feel like a showcase of point guards, as Miami will get to deal with another hot one tonight in Aaron Brooks.  He scored a career-high 43-points and hit on 6-of-9 from beyond the arc in Houston's last game, and is averaging 25 points in his last 8.

GAME NOTES

  • Other then Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, the Rockets should be at full strength tonight. 
  • Houston has allowed their opponent to shoot above 50% from the field in 3 of their last 4 games. 
  • Tonight and tomorrow will make the 6th time this season that the Heat will play back-to-back games.  It hasn't been a very good experience for Miami; they are just 1-9 in those 10 games. 
  • On Wednesday, D-Wade went 15-of-15 from the foul line.  Not only was that awesome, but it tied him with Glen Rice and Jamal Mashburn for most free throws without a miss in franchise history. 
  • Despite their recent success at home, Houston has still lost 4 of their last 6 games overall.  
  • This is the first of 2 meetings between Miami and Houston this season.  The Rockets have had the upper hand in the series of late, winning 5 of the last 6.

Tipoff from Cowboys-town is set for 8:30pm.  I think we've reached the point where anything could happen out there and Heat's fans won't be surprised.  All I'm hoping for is an injury-free, relatively quick game so they have enough left in the tank to get them trough the back-to-back.  Let's go Heat!!