I want to enjoy the muscled grace and artistry of James and Wade and not be bogged down thinking about math. I want to marvel at athletic performance and not be obsessed with the statistical tendencies at work behind it.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra called James and Wade’s combined 79 points Tuesday “video-game numbers,” and that about said it. Sacramento coach Keith Smart referred to the two of them as playing a “Superman-type game,” and that said it, too. Beyond the sight of it, no corroborating analytic evidence was necessary.
Spoelstra meant his whole team in crediting this 12-game win streak to a “sense of urgency,” the sense of approaching playoffs. To a finals-or-bust team the regular season can be a glorified tune-up, a necessary but perfunctorily long five-month bridge to the postseason.
The Heat can begin to see what’s on the other side now, and the only imperative is to be healthy and in tune for the playoffs.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be more challenges en route to break up any boredom that might lurk, and the next challenge is straight ahead.
Miami will need more proving to get the two more wins in a row needed to match the club record of 14 consecutive victories set in the 2004-05 season.
The Heat next plays host to Memphis on Friday, then visits New York on Sunday. The following week, Miami hosts hot Indiana, the last team to beat the Heat, in what could be an Eastern Conference finals preview.
Only five opponents in this 12-game streak currently have winning records, but that won’t be the case next. The Grizzlies, Knicks and Pacers all do — and they are a combined 5-0 against Miami this season, and by an average margin of 16.2 points.
That’s a challenge.
I’m not sure LeBron and D-Wade — individually or in tandem — have ever seemed readier for one.