Over the years, the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena has become a fortress of sorts because the home team are damn near unbeatable when they step out in front of their fans.
During this year’s NBA Playoffs, the Heat are a perfect 8-0 at the AA, including an emphatic 117-92 Game six victory during Eastern Conference Semi Finals. The win sealed a passage to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year and Chris Bosh believes the fans deserved a lot of the credit.
“This was our game 7 and we were going to protect our home court, no matter what,” said the All-Star, during the post-game press conference. “When we’re at home, we feel like teams that come here don’t stand a chance. That’s our mentality.
“We feel that the home crowd is going to give us energy to play our game and we’re going to play well. Especially in crunch time”
Then again, that post season record shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, since Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Bosh joined forces in south Florida, the Heat have consistently ranked among the best teams when it comes to regular season records at home. They have finished within the top five each and every season since 2010-11.
Last season was their best as they lost just four games in their building all year long. That placed them second overall, behind only the 38-3 Denver Nuggets who typically used the thin Rocky Mountain air to their advantage by running the opposition ragged. Miami’s secret on the other hand, lies with the loyalty of the fans according to Bosh.
“When we first got here, there was lot of pressure for us to win but the fans stuck with us no matter what,” he said. “Now, it is extremely loud here and I can only imagine how tough it must be to play against us. It’s turned into a huge advantage and we’ve turned this homecourt into an extremely tough place to win, together.”
While Bosh does thank the HeatNation for their unwavering loyalty, you have to consider how “grim” it really is for the folks in Miami to come out and support the Heatles. I doubt anyone would have much difficulty(if any) to pluck up the enthusiasm to go watch and cheer for a team that boasts the likes LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the line-up, as well as providing NBA Finals four years in a row.
Plus, the Heat fanbase has been known to show up late for games and leave early. Although I doubt many more will be leaving early anymore after this unlikely comeback.
Nevertheless, Bosh and Co. will need them at their roaring best in order to overcome the San Antonio Spurs during this year’s Championship series.
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