A couple of hours before the Miami Heat won its sixth home game in a row Wednesday against the Knicks and moved a game and a half ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, Miami Heat beat writers Manny Navarro and Andre C. Fernandez recorded their latest Heat Check podcast.
This week’s topics:
▪ Monday’s double-overtime win over the Denver Nuggets set a franchise record for points scored. But where does that game rank among the best games the Heat has played this season? Manny and Andre debate where to put that game along with Dwyane Wade’s game-winner over the 76ers, the Heat’s road wins at Toronto and Boston earlier this season and a few honorable mention candidates.
▪ The Heat (39-33) embarks on a tough two-game road trip this weekend that includes a pivotal game against the fifth-seeded Pacers (41-31), whom Miami now trails by two games. But first reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City (43-30) will host the Heat on Friday, and Miami is going to attempt to do something it hasn’t yet — beat one of the top six seeds in the Western Conference. Miami is 0-10 against Houston, Golden State, Portland, New Orleans and San Antonio this season, and the fourth-seeded Thunder is 25-11 at home and coming off two fulls days of rest between games.
▪ James Johnson’s career-high 31-point performance Monday night was inspiring including the 18 points he scored in overtime. But he followed it up on Wednesday with three points (1-of-2 shooting), five rebounds and six assists in 22 minutes. Can Johnson be the guy we saw Monday night when it matters in the playoffs?
▪ Finally, Goran Dragic has been the Heat’s most consistent player all season. His game-winning bucket last Friday against the Lakers was his first in a Heat uniform. In this week’s interview session, Manny talks to Goran about his game-winner and if more are in his future.