Friday’s meeting with Milwaukee — the Heat’s second game on a five-game road trip — could end up being a preview of a first-round playoff series. And at least one Bucks player believes that would be the preferable matchup for Milwaukee, which entered Tuesday in the No. 8 seed.
“The two games that we played Miami so far, we matched up well against them,” guard Brandon Jennings told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “If you ask me, that’s who I would want to play first round, Miami.
“Right now we haven’t really played well against the Knicks. I just feel better if we play Miami first round, just the fact we have good games against them.”
Chris Bosh said Jennings’ comment doesn’t bother him. “That’s great,” Bosh said. “I hope people want to see us. Milwaukee is a good team. It would be great games.”
But Rashard Lewis said: “Be careful what you ask for.”
The Heat beat Milwaukee in overtime in Miami in November but lost 104-85 Dec. 29 in Wisconsin.
LeBron James said Heat players “haven’t talked much” about their winning streak — which stood at 18 entering Tuesday — but “we do appreciate it. We have a lot of guys who have not won as many games in a season as we’ve won in this win streak. It’s pretty unique and special.”
Four teams have won at least 20 in a row: The 1971-72 Lakers, who own the all-time streak at 33; the 2007-08 Rockets (22), the 1948-49 Washington Capitols (20) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20).
Dwyane Wade said before Tuesday’s game that he’s a long way from considering the possibility of breaking the Lakers’ all-time record.
“The only time I would think it’s doable is if we get to 32, and we’re playing for 33,” he said. “It’s so far away. It’s nothing we’re contemplating. It’s laughable in a sense to even think about that.”
Wade said the streak “will mean more one day when someone else gets on a streak and they bring your name up and show highlights of your team.”
• The Heat signed Juwan Howard to a second 10-day contract.
Coach Erik Spoelstra offered a surprising opinion before Tuesday’s game, asserting that “I don’t think last year’s [Heat] team is good enough to win this year.”
He added the level the Heat is “playing at right now might not be good enough. We don’t know how good we can become.”
Magic Johnson said on ABC on Sunday that he spoke to Heat president Pat Riley on Friday “and he said, ‘We’re really not playing that well. We’re not playing our best basketball. We’re just playing good enough to beat everybody.’ He says they have room for important and he’s looking for improvement.”
Spoelstra, asked about that comment on Tuesday, said: “I’ve had plenty of conversations with Pat and those haven’t been the conversations. We’re trying to play at a standard that’s adequate to us.”
James scoffs at the notion that talent is enough to propel the Heat’s success: “For someone to say chemistry doesn’t matter if you have talent would be crazy to say. You have to have chemistry and cohesiveness.”