Last night in a … question about sample size

by Micah Hart

The trade deadline passed yesterday, which means there are now no big events to focus on in the NBA until the start of the playoffs. Generally speaking, most teams have played close to three-quarters of their schedule. With Thursday night’s loss in Chicago, the Miami Heat are now 42-16 on the season, tied for the best record in the Eastern conference with the Celtics, who are 41-15 (the Celtics maintain the top seed by a few percentage points).

Taking a deeper look at their record, the Heat are now 1-7 against teams in the top three of the respective conferences (0-3 against Boston, 0-2 against Chicago, 0-2 against Dallas, with one impressive win over the Lakers in LA), and 42-9 against the rest of the NBA.

Does that mean anything? Eight games is a pretty small sample size. Then again, those are the teams the Heat are most likely to face come the latter stages of the postseason (Miami still has both games with San Antonio remaining on the calendar).

All I know is, with each passing loss to a fellow member of the NBA elite, whispers of doubt about the Heat’s title chances get just a little louder.

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