Heat Fantastic February

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Tyler Alexander, Sports Editor

It’ll be hard to replicate the success of the Miami Heat 2011-12 season, one that culminated with a second championship banner being raised to the rafters of the American Airlines Arena. The Heat are certainly making a strong effort to remain at the top, especially in the month of February. It has been a historic month for Miami, both for the team as a whole, as well as the individual players.
The month started with an embarrassing 102-89 loss at Indiana, in which Miami got manhandled on the boards and in the paint. This loss proved to be a humbling one for the Heat, who had been on cruise control for much of the regular season, often playing down to the level of their opponents. The loss proved to be a big wake up call for Miami, it would be the lone time the Heat would lose in February. Miami has won twelve in a row since the Pacer loss, and are looking nearly unbeatable at times.
“We’re a veteran ballclub and we’ve been in every situation that an NBA game can offer us,” LeBron James said. “We don’t get too high, we don’t get too low, we just play the 48 minutes out and see where it takes us.”
Signature wins throughout this remarkable streak include Oklahoma City, Chicago, and against both the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. Miami dominated in all aspects of these games, especially on the defensive end. A team that prides themselves on defense, the Heat were able to hold the Bulls to 67 points in their matchup in Chicago. Although their defense has been superb throughout this run, their offense has been incredibly businesslike, with an epitome of efficiency coming in their final game of the month.
In a 141-129 double overtime win against Sacramento, Miami scored 29 points in both overtime periods, totaling ten minutes. To put that into perspective, the 76ers, Warriors, and Bulls couldn’t score 29 points in a twelve-minute quarter that same night. This incredible masterpiece has been orchestrated by none other than LeBron James.
LeBron’s been on a streak that even Cleveland fans were left marveling at, putting up historic numbers night after night. James is putting together a season unlike any other, winning Eastern Conference Player of the Month every month of the season. February will be no different. LeBron has put together one of the greatest calendar months in NBA history starting with the game after Indiana.
The very next game against Toronto LeBron began his record streak of scoring 30 points, while shooting 60 percent from the floor…for six straight games. That’s the longest streak in NBA history, and the model of consistency. James’ streak came to an end against the Thunder, where he scored 39 points, but only shot 58.3 percent from the floor. “Only 58 percent.” The thing about this month is that it hasn’t been just a few great games; LeBron’s been having jaw dropping games every night.
For the month, LeBron’s the first player since Kareem in 1983 to shoot at least 63 percent in a calendar month (minimum 200 shots). LeBron hasn’t shot under 50 percent for the entire month, with his lowest outing being this past Sunday at 52.9 percent.
James capped off his ridiculous month, with authority Tuesday, against the Kings, dropping 40 points, 16 assists, and eight rebounds. Nobody’s had those numbers in a game since the NBA started keeping logs in the 1985-86 season. The 40 points is a season high and the 16 assists are a career high for LeBron.
“Some great stat lines tonight,” James said. “But I’m happy I was able to do what I did and help our team win.”

It’s not just in the game that LeBron’s doing work. A hype has been made about some pregame dunks at the American Airlines Arena over the past few games, which leave fans wondering why the unnatural specimen we call King James still has never entered a dunk contest. It’s rare to see a 6’8”, 270 pound man fly through the air with such grace and agility. Better appreciate this man while we’ve got him.