The great fear after a long winning streak comes to an end is that the momentum and happy-fun-time feelings that fueled the run run out as well. Luckily, with a Heat team that's found its focus and a soft-as-a-sponge schedule to go up against, the good times keep rolling along. On the back of Dwyane Wade (as is normally the case) and his 32 points, the Heat won its 10th in 11 games and its sixth-straight road game, beating the Knicks, 111-98. While it's always nice to see wins, this is one thing you certainly don't want to see, from the Associated Press recap:
Dwyane Wade was hurt, and even a little scared. He has injured his right wrist before and is always concerned when it's in pain. But when the Heat medical staff wanted to take X-rays after Wade's first-half fall? Not a chance. Not when playoff seeding is at stake. "I was the doctor on that one," Wade said. "I decided against it."Now, the traditional sports clichés about playing hurt and taking one for the team kick in here, and doing those things are admirable for sure. But the policy of this team should be: Protect Dwyane at all costs. And if that means sitting him for a couple of games and sliding to the sixth seed, so be it. As has been established, this season is the equivalent of house money. Everything's riding on the summer and 2010-2011. If you seriously injure Wade, the prospects of luring top-tier talent to South Florida go down. And if you do that, this three-year waiting period for cap space is for naught. Everyone wants to win and win now, and of course that's understandable. But if you sacrifice a game or two and make sure your meal ticket is secure, it shouldn't really be that big of a deal. Getting off of Wade, you have to love the secondary contributions. Five players not named Dwyane Wade scored in double digits, including the much-less-maligned-in-the-last-two-weeks Michael Beasley, who had 16 points on 66 percent shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block on the night. He's gotten much love from me in the past, but look to comparable small forwards in the past and you'll see their third-year numbers really jump after two years of malaise. 2010-2011 should be a big season for this team, and Beasley could make the biggest increase in contribution year-to-year. Carlos Arroyo has basically become a hybrid guard on the floor, and that should be okay with the Heat fan. 12 points on 83 percent shooting (5-of-6), 3 rebounds and zero turnovers from the "point" is an efficient day in anyone's book. Two games left now, against the fourth-worst and first-worst teams in the conference, respectively. This month has always been highlighted as a month of potential explosion for the Heat, and as a team looking ahead to the playoffs, momentum is always welcome when you're looking for an upset.