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Heat rocket up power rankings as they visit team with best home record in NBA last season

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Heat get some respect, but the easy part of the season may be over.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The stunning Miami Heat victory over the Houston Rockets has made the team marked men for the rest of the season.

CBS Sports placed the Heat third in their power rankings and observed, “The Heat are a problem. They’re playing at one of the fastest paces in the league and own the league’s best net rating ... and they’ve only had Jimmy Butler for three games.”

ESPN has Miami eighth with this take, “The Miami Heat are to be taken seriously. Back-to-back wins over the Hawks (without Trae Young, for full context) were nice, but the complete destruction of the Rockets has put everyone in the Eastern Conference on notice.”

Sports Illustrated has the team in fourth place and features Goran Dragic, “The Heat rotation is flush with quality players, and Dragic appears to be a perfect anchor for their second unit.”

Fansided even has the audacity to place them above all others, “So how is it that the Miami Heat — with one loss — could possibly be ranked ahead of the unbeaten 76ers? There is a reason … several, actually. For starters, the Heat have the best net rating in the NBA at a plus-11.4, per Cleaning the Glass, just one of two teams with a double-digit net thus far (Phoenix, at plus-10.2, is the other).”

NBA’s Kyle Irving places the Heat at sixth and notes, “They closed the week strong getting out to a 46-14 lead over the Rockets in the first quarter before closing out a 29-point blowout victory to further prove that this team has the potential to be one of the scariest teams in the East when everything is clicking.”

NBA’s John Schuhmann ranks Miami fifth, up 8 spots, saying, “They’ve seen the league’s third biggest jump in pace (7.8 possessions per 48 minutes) and have a league-best effective field goal percentage of 72% in the first six seconds of the shot clock, according to Second Spectrum tracking.”

ESPN’s BPI Playoff Odds have upped its forecast for Miami’s win total to 53 (53-29), which is far above preseason projections.

Next up though for Miami is a trip to the Mile-High City, where the Denver Nuggets had the NBA’s best home record last season at 34-7 as noted in this article, “The Nuggets have improved in each season under coach Michael Malone, going from 33 wins his first season to 40, 46 and 54 last season when the team earned the No. 2 overall seed in the West. A big reason for their success was an NBA-best 34-7 mark at home in 2018-19. Malone has challenged them to improve that record.”

So far this season the Nuggets have yet to score over 108 points in game, even though they lost only two contests thus far due to their suffocating defense orchestrated by coach Malone.

However the Miami Heat scored the most points in franchise history on March 19, 2018 against the Nuggets when James Johnson netted 31 points and Kelly Olynyk 30 points en route to a 149-141 win in Miami.

The Nuggets won’t permit the Heat’s good deeds go unpunished as Denver would relish showing the NBA who the best team really is, but then later on...

From the mountains to the desert in Arizona for a game versus the Phoenix Suns, and finally the next day of a back-to-back set of games arrives.

Dwyane Wade and his family in Los Angeles on Friday, Nov 8 for a showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Thinking and planning for this Friday’s event probably going on as we speak.