The 2013 Miami Heat is the winningest team in franchise history. Behind a solid performance from a lineup full of backups, the team beat the Wizards 103-98, winning for the 62nd time this season to surpass the 1996-97 Heat's record. More important for this season, Miami also secured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Ray Allen scored 23 off the bench to go along with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Shane Battier buried five of eighth three-point attempts, finishing with 15. The Heat as a whole took 41 threes, connecting on 17 of them. John Wall came just short of a triple-double in the losing effort, finishing with 17 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists.
With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Udonis Haslem missing the game, the Heat went with a mix-and-match bunch. The problem for the rest of the league is that Miami's backups make a pretty damn good Eastern Conference team themselves.
Right now, the Heat is serving ramen noodles to spoiled fans accustomed to steak. At one point in the game, Rashard Lewis passed to Joel Anthony under the basket and it bounced off his neck -- this isn't exactly the Flying Death Machine. Once the playoffs begin and everyone is playing all at once, Heat fans will feel like a fat kid at Cici's Pizza. Cinnabon pizza!
A funny thing continues to happen when Wade and James sit: They join the team later on the bench, and as they walk in, everyone in the audience pays more attention to them than the game. During the first quarter on Wednesday, Wade and James slipped on their skinny jeans and hipster glasses and finally made their way into the tunnel -- and the entire stadium turned away from the game and turned their focus to those two. The Heat is truly a show that comes to town for other cities, reminding us just how lucky we are to have them on a daily basis. In other words, you don't get to say you're bored when they take a day or two off, you spoiled ass.
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The Heat is back home Friday for perhaps the least anticipated Celtics-Heat game since Michael Beasley was running the hardwood.
The Heat has nothing to play for, while the Celtics will probably want to win a lot more just to lock up the seventh seed to stay the hell off the tracks when the Miami Heat train comes through. Don't expect to see the Big Three in this game, because the risk of injury or altercation is just too high against Boston -- regardless of what's at stake.