Feb 15, 2024 - News

Miami Heat ride momentum into All-Star break

Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) reacts with teammate Tyler Herro (14) after defeating the Philadelphia Sixers 119-113 at Kaseya Center in Miami on Monday, Dec. 25, 2023.

Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. celebrates with teammate Tyler Herro. Photo: D.A. Varela/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Miami Heat have their swagger back as they reach the midway point of the NBA season.

Why it matters: The Heat overcame a historic losing streak in January and are looking to channel that same underdog mentality that got them to the NBA Finals in 2023.

  • Miami beat Philadelphia last night, 109-104. Heading into the All-Star break, Miami is 30–25 and seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Catch up fast: The Heat hit a low point last month after losing seven straight games, their longest losing streak since 2008.

Miami snapped the streak the following game, Jan. 31 against Sacramento, and have won five of their last seven games in February.

  • They have only lost to the Clippers and Celtics, two of the NBA's best teams.

Flashback: The Heat were 32–27 entering the All-Star break last year, and went on to make the Finals as an eighth seed.

What they're saying: "I've spoken before, but this was probably the first time I said what was really in my heart and how I really feel," guard Tyler Herro said of the meeting, per the Herald.

The latest: The Heat had a statement victory this week over Damian Lillard and the Bucks, in a game that Heat star Jimmy Butler missed due to a death in his family.

  • Miami — also playing without injured guards Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson — blew out Milwaukee 123–97 behind a career-high 24 points from forward Nikola Jovic, who might have earned a bigger role.
  • The game took on extra meaning after the Heat tried to trade for Lillard in the offseason.
  • Fans proudly noted that the so-called "Dame Package," meaning the players rumored to be involved in a potential deal, outscored Lillard 55–16.

What we're watching: Most of the Heat will get a well-deserved break this week, but not star center Bam Adebayo, who will be playing in his third All-Star game.

  • Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. will be joining Adebayo at All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, where he will participate in the Rising Stars tournament and the dunk contest.

If you watch: The Rising Stars tournament is at 9pm Friday, and the dunk contest is at 8pm Saturday. The All-Star Game is at 8pm on Sunday.

  • All events will be televised on TNT.
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