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February 14, 2006

For Heat, optimism battles pessimism

Aapr     The Heat's last two extreme results have mirrored this uneven, inconsistent, what-should-we-make-of-this-team season. A 36-point loss at Dallas is followed by an exhilirating home triumph over Detroit  -- led by Dwyane Wade's remarkable 18-point fourth quarter.

     The blowout loss begat predictable hand-wringing and Pat Riley-bashing as the rats began to jump ship. Now what? Does beating the Pistons bring everything back? The disillusioned fans? The championship hopes?

     People overreacted to the loss at Dallas and probably will overreact in the other direction now. Miami is what it is, and the past two games haven't changed that.

     This is a flawed team still in search of its rhthym, and with plenty of time left to find it. I say what I said before the season and a month ago and a week ago: The Heat will at least reach the conference finals vs. Detroit.

   The question now: Did Sunday's result matter much? Did it change your hopes or your opinion of this team's and its chances?

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