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Posted by By Brad Friedman on February 13, 2006 12:49 p.m. ET


They couldn't beat the top teams. That was the knock on Miami heading into Sunday's matchup with the visiting Pistons, owners of the best record in the NBA. The Heat, you see, had a record of 1-9 vs. division leaders and 0-7 against Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio, the teams with the NBA's best records.
-- [New York Daily News]

That all changed Sunday, when Dwyane Wade put on a superhero like performance, scoring the Heat's final 17 points in the last 4:27, including the game-winning jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining, to help Miami overcome a 13-point deficit against the Pistons in a 100-98 victory.
-- [Miami Herald]

As good as Wade's been all year, he said it wasn't until yesterday's matchup with Detroit, when he erupted for 18 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, that he had a game in which he got into "the zone".
-- [Miami Herald]

And what did it take to light Wade and the Heat on fire? A 60-year-old man needed to dance. That's exactly how one of the best coaches in the league broke the pre-game tension.
-- [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

It must have worked, because after the contest, Heat teammate Alonzo Mourning was comparing Wade's play to a Michael Jordan performance.
-- [Miami Herald]

As for the Pistons, well, they went from chasing 70 wins to just a 6-4 mark in their last 10 games. Given Detroit was outscored 66-24 inside, it may be time to question whether Detroit is relying too much on its perimeter game.
-- [Detroit Free Press]


Toronto head coach Sam Mitchell played with Kevin Garnett when he first entered the league, so he knows all about Garnett's personality and talent. Now that he's coaching Chris Bosh, who will play in his first All-Star Game next Sunday, he sees a lot of similarities in the two players.
-- [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

ESPN analyst Greg Anthony says the ability of Rasheed Wallace is on par with Garnett, or any forward for that matter. Wallace has played in the big game before, but this will be his first appearance with the Eastern Conference squad. And when the 6-10 pivot thinks about his All-Star Weekend media responsibilities and those inevitable 70-win questions, its as if his stomach turns.
-- [Miami Herald]

Meanwhile, Gilbert Arenas, who will take the Eastern Conference roster spot of the injured Jermaine O'Neal, is nothing but excited about the Houston festivities. Arenas admits, when he wasn't originally selected to the squad by the coaches or fans, he felt hurt.
-- [Washington Post]


One could certainly make a case for Carmelo Anthony deserving to make it in the West. But Anthony denies feeling the pain Arenas felt, saying it's no big deal.
-- [Baltimore Sun]

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, also missing out despite finishing third in fan balloting among West guards, doesn't seem to mind not playin in the All-Star Game, and believes he hasn't played that great this season.
-- [San Antonio Express-News]


The trade deadline comes just four days after the All-Star Game, and there are plenty of rumors flying around the web. Keep track of them here until the magic day, Feb. 23.
The nail in the coffin.
(Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty)
Shaq on his 11-point outing in a loss to the Nets:

"I had to apologize to the coach and the team."
-- [Houston Chronicle]

2005-06 ARCHIVE
Feb. 3 -- We're Going Streaking!
Jan. 27 -- Trade Winds Blow
Jan. 23 -- Points a Plenty
Jan. 20 -- Give the King a Break
Jan. 13 -- Who's the Man?
Dec. 1 -- Welcome Back, Larry
Nov. 17 -- League Pass Surfing
Nov. 10 -- Setting OWGs Straight
Nov. 4 -- Season Underway
Oct. 27 -- The Central Is Stacked
Oct. 19 -- All Dressed Up
Oct. 14 -- LeBron Out Of Hospital
2004-05 -- Archive
2003-04 -- Archive