Miami Heat

Podcast: The Heat is playing its best basketball in years. Can Miami keep it up?

Dwyane Wade’s thoughts after the Miami Heat’s 110-105 win against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday probably weren’t controversial.

“We’re playing as good as a group together as we’ve played since I got back here,” the All-Star guard said after the Heat’s eighth win in 10 games.

With 11 games to go, Miami (35-36) holds a 1 1/2-game lead on the Orlando Magic for the No. 8 seed, trails the Brooklyn Nets by one game for the No. 7 seed and sits 1 1/2 games behind the Detroit Pistons for the No. 6 seed, and right now the Heat is playing better than any of them.

Of course, Miami has had stretches of strong play this season, but this time it feels like it might be different. The Heat has mostly been healthy and clicking all cylinders. Center Hassan Whiteside is thriving as a reserve. Wade and Goran Dragic are making a dynamic guard tandem off the bench. Miami’s new-look starting lineup led by point forward Justise Winslow no longer has the Heat fighting out of a hole every night.

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On the Heat Check podcast this week, David Wilson and Anthony Chiang, the Miami Herald’s Heat beat writer, try to figure out whether this is just the latest in a series of blips for Miami or if it’s a sign of more to come. Right now, the present and future both look much more positive than they did earlier this month.

Later on, Wilson and Chiang answer a couple listener questions. How solid is forward James Johnson’s spot in the rotation once the Heat gets to full health again? And is Dragic actually the greatest bench player in NBA history? Probably not, but he gets tons of credit in this episode for his role in getting Miami back on track.

Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.