The Miami Heat started off the season wrecking opponents and making people believe they were on their way to the NBA's first perfect season. But as it is with all teams (yes, even the good ones), they hit a snag in mid-January. Miami suffered its first losing streak of the season, LeBron James struggled down a stretch of games, and Dwyane Wade busted his ankle. Par for the course for any team, especially in a lockout-shorted season. But because this is the Miami Heat, every failure, loss, and bad game is scrutinized and analyzed to no end. Heat haters have a field day declaring the Big Three's eternal demise, while fans panic and pronounce the season an utter failure — even though there are still another five months of basketball to be played. Such is the life of the most polarizing professional sports team in America. Win, and it's supposed to be that way. Lose, and it's the ruin of Western civilization as we know it. Fans need to calm down and let things play out. And to shut the haters up, the Heat will just have to obliterate opponents in the playoffs like they did last year. Either way, year two is already a fascinating ride.
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The Heat close out a topsy-turvy January this Monday when they host the New Orleans Hornets at the American Airlines Arena.
Mon., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m., 2012