It's not an excuse for the loss, but Miami really couldn't have gotten off to a worse start in Dallas last night. They began the game trailing 14-2, and were down 23-10 before Eric Spoelstra finally called a timeout to stop the bleeding. That they were able to recover, even as LeBron James was struggling, says a lot about the character of the team.
From SB Nation's Heat blog, Peninsula is Mightier:
Even though the result wasn't anything that Heat fans wanted to see, that was one hell of a game. Now that the winning streak over, I find myself trying to look at the bigger picture. Yeah...it sucks to lose, especially a game like this where the win was right in our grasp. Dallas is one of the top teams in the league and has been giant killers all season. With this being the first loss for Miami since they began playing so well, the upcoming games against Phoenix and the Lakers will be a great way to test the resolve of the Heat. .
Indeed, with stiff tests awaiting them on the West Coast, the character Miami showed last night was actually a good sign. This is a team's that has sometimes looked entitled. When the going gets tough, the Heat don't always get going. But last night they refused to relent, even on a night when their superstars weren't playing particularly well. A month ago, this might have been a double-digit loss.
And sure, Miami may have lost anyway, and the undefeated streak is suddenly a thing of the past. But perfection has always been unrealistic for Miami or anybody else.
Progress, though? That's something for Heat fans to get excited about.