The Miami Heat are playing extremely well as of late, and most notably have been doing so without superstar shooting guard Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, or Greg Oden.
Wade, of course, tweaked his hamstring following Miami's loss to the Indiana Pacers last Wednesday and hasn't taken to the hardwood since, and Allen has been suffering from virus-like symptoms. Nevertheless, the Miami Heat reserves are playing phenomenally and with the help of LeBron James and Chris Bosh have put together a four game winning streak.
While three out of these four teams are out of playoff contention, the fact of the matter is the Heat chemistry has returned in full force. With these recent wins, and the utter collapse of the Indiana Pacers, Miami has taken the first seed in the Eastern Conference and don't plan on turning back. LeBron exclaimed he plans to take no nights off as the Heat fight to keep the number one seeding as they approach the playoffs:
"If I feel like I can give something, I've got to be out there for my teammates," James said. "It's my obligation to be out there for them. I'm dealing with a few things, but for me to sit out, I have to be dealing with a lot more."
Meanwhile in Minnesota, the Timberwolves seem defeated. While having the talent to make the playoffs this season, they've missed yet again and Kevin Love is not happy. Nevertheless it's worth noting that one of the big factors of why they're so behind is the fact that they cannot close in tight games, and are dealing with injuries.
Nikola Pekovic has recently returned and will be a factor in the paint against Miami's smaller lineup. The Timberwolves are a good team despite their average record, and have the strength to give Miami a challenge. Wolves' coach Rick Adelman looks to do just that as he recently said in an interview:
"Everybody else has something on the line," "So we want to go out and play as well as we can and spoil it for them and see if we can't be a factor in it."
This should be a very fun game to watch. Minnesota is full of talent, but Miami is making the playoff turn. Anything is possible.
*Also we get to re-visit the JJ Barea Ray Allen beef of last year. Which should be quite interesting.
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