Eight games below .500. That is where the Miami Heat stood before March started. Playoffs? At the time it would be perfectly okay to just accept trying to finish the season instead of extending it. 25-33. Then Miami starting having their own version of March Madness. As a result, a season destined for doom is now daring you to dream.
The revival continued last night. Four players performed to near perfection. When Wade's shot wasn't falling, you saw Dragic providing relentless energy for everyone to feed off of. You saw Deng time and time again be the beneficiary of the pace that Dragic pushed. You saw Whiteside swat everything in sight, and even saluted the crowd after a block. There was Tyler Johnson who effectively replaced Henry Walker on the team, and Chris Andersen who did THIS.
Then there's Dwyane Wade, who had his exact move predicted by Lebron...as Lebron was watching. See? Everyone is watching the Heat these days:
LeBron, watching as the Heat-Blazers game is on in locker room, mutters "right to left step back" before Wade hits right to left step back— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) March 19, 2015
Wade say's this is the best he has felt in years and he credits the "Ray Allen approach" of coming in earlier than usual and preparing. Old? He lead's the league in 4th quarter points. Washed up?Watch the video above again. All he asks his team is that while he sits, they remain even with their opponent, and if they're able to, he'll handle the rest. Last night was him handling the rest. 2006 style.
Luol Deng: 24 points, 4 rebounds
Goran Dragic: 20 points, 11 assists, 3 rebounds - Highlights here
Hassan Whiteside: 12 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks - Highlights here
Wade on his 4th quarter (cont'd): "When guys say 'bring us home' you know they have a lot of faith in you. That goes a long way with me."— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) March 19, 2015
WHITESIDE: "Dwyane Wade is amazing. Y’all can quote me on that."— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) March 19, 2015
Does the road get tougher in March? Absolutely. Miami see's Russell Westbrook on the 22nd, the Hawks on the 27th and the Spurs on the 31st. There's also the games that affect Miami's playoff positioning. like Milwaukee on the 24th and then the Celtics on the 25th. So what is remaining will be far more difficult than what has already passed. But just like in all sports, you can't shy away from your opponent. You embrace the challenge no matter how unlikely the chance of victory may seem. That's what March Madness is about. That's what Miami's March will be about. From doom to dream. I love this madness.