We're getting closer and closer to the end of the NBA season, and you can almost smell the subtle temptations of the playoffs.
For the past two years, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat have dominated the post-season, beating the San Antonio Spurs in seven and the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1 in 2012.
But this season the monopoly hasn't been as dominated in an Eastern Conference that is worse than it has ever been.
And therein is the worry. The Heat have not been as nearly as impressive this time out than last season, where they went 66-16. Erik Spoelstra's side are 53-24 and last night were bossed around by a Brooklyn Nets side that has somehow manage to sweep the reigning champs 4-0 over the course of the season.
The only thing that Miami have going in their favour at the moment is just how bad everyone else in their own conference is.
If the Pacers were showing the form that put them five+ games ahead of the Heat earlier in the season, if the Chicago Bulls could reinforce Derrick Rose's ligaments with adamantium, and if any of the New York teams actually bothered to not suck then the Heat would be in real trouble.
But fortunately for them, none of the above is true at the moment so it looks pretty much like a clear route to the NBA Finals.
And then they will come to a shuddering holt. The San Antonio Spurs are an unstoppable machine and don't look like letting off. They have the bitterness and regret of the Ray Allen last second three pointer still writhing under their skins, aching for revenge.
Or there's the Thunder and one certain individual, Mister Kevin Durant. The scoring sensation is on an incredible streak right now, and with his right hand man Russell Westbrook nearing his best, the two are a tandem that Wade and James wish they were.
The Heat need to step up their game if they want that three-peat, and at the moment it's not looking good.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms