It's just a coincidence, but it's an interesting one.
The regular seasons of the this year's Heat and last year's PIstons have played out eerily similar so far. Through 21 games (which is when Van Gundy resigned), both teams were 11-10.
Through 45 games, which is where the Heat is right now, both teams were 27-18.
Now, the Pistons were in the middle of winning 13 of 14 games at that time, and by March 1, the Pistons were 36-19 and looking good once again. And we all know where the PIstons ended the season, in the Finals.
That's what the Heat seems has yet to make, that one defining run that gives the team confidence and includes a couple big wins against good teams.
They did it twice last year with two separate double-figure winning streaks.
They currently have an opportunity to do just that. It depends on how fast they get Jason Williams back, and if his finger injury bothers his shooting, but Shaq is starting to look very good, and the schedule is friendly in February.
The Heat has only one set of back-to-backs in February (a home-and-home against Orlando on Feb. 14-15). The team has a big game at Dallas on Feb. 9, but has two days off to get ready for it. The very next game is big, too, at home against Detroit. But again, the team has two days off to prepare for it.
And with a team as old and injury-prone as this one, that always helps.
I'm not predicting a Finals berth for the Heat, because the Pistons are sick right now. I just think the Heat still has a run in them this regular season that will make you say, "Hmm, maybe they can give the Pistons a run."