Thursday, April 05, 2007

Time For The Champs To Step Up

Every game remaining will have playoff implications for the Heat down the stretch. This is why it can hurt to tank the first half of the season sometimes. Either way, as the Heat get ready to close out the regular season while hoping Dwyane Wade comes back soon, they face one simple goal. And that goal is: get the 3rd seed and get homecourt for the first round of the playoffs. The Heat find themselves in a late-season race for the Southeast Division with the Wizards and a race for the 3rd seed in the East with the Raptors.

The race for the Southeast may have taken a favorable turn for Miami. Wizards' star Gilbert Arenas sprained his knee Wednesday night against Charlotte. ESPN is reporting that Arenas is done for the season. This, along with the loss of Caron Butler for the season, puts the Wizards in a bad place at the wrong time. Which means it's time for the Heat to do what champions do -- smell blood in the water and go in for the kill. It's time for the champs to stop treating the regular season like an exhibition. It's time for the Heat to put their playoff faces on early this year and step up.

''We'd love to have it wrapped up by now, but we put ourselves in that
position,'' forward Antoine Walker said. ``As a team, it's kind of good for us
because we've yet to play with 12 guys that have been together all season. Now
hopefully we can get four or five games together with meaningful situations
where we are together and get us focused and ready for a playoff run.''


Absolutely, Dude. The Heat can take advantage of this and win the SE outright and take on the depleted Wiz in the first round or blow it and risk facing Chicago in the first round.

If there was ever a time to take the regular season seriously, now's the time. LETS GO HEAT!
Step One: Taking care of the LeBrons tonight.

I hate to see a guy like Arenas go down like that. It sucks for the game. But it is what it is and the Heat need to take advantage.
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