Dwyane Wade: Heat Won't Need No. 1 Seed to Reach NBA Finals
He already figures the Heat can beat the Celtics in the playoffs -- with or without the home-court advantage -- if they are healthy. He has been there. Done that.
"We're not really focused on that (best record). I've won a championship without home court (in 2006). What I really care about is us being healthy, and playing good ball at both ends of the court,'' Wade said before the Heat played the Orlando Magic Thursday night. "If we're seeded 1, 2, or 3, whatever the case, you deal with it.''
The Heat (34-14) went into Thursday night's game with the second-best record in the East, three games behind Boston (37-11) and only a half-game ahead of Chicago. The Magic and Hawks were tied for fourth.
"I just want to focus on good basketball, and let that (playoff seeding) take care of itself,'' he said. "If we're playing well, we'll be fine with wherever we land.''
If San Antonio reaches the NBA Finals from the West, the much-ballyhooed Heat would have to beat both the Celtics and the Spurs without home court advantage. It's the same route the Heat took in 2006 when they finished behind the Pistons in the East and the Mavericks in the West, yet still won a championship.
"We'd like to (catch Boston), but right now the most important thing is how we're playing,'' said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "We're as complete as we have been all season long. It only took 47 games, but we've gotten to the point, and now it's a matter of continuing to build on our consistency.''
When the Heat beat Oklahoma City Sunday, it marked the first time this season that Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller -- their four best players -- all played together. Every one of them has missed at least two games with injuries or illnesses.
The lack of continuity is a big reason why the Heat -- for all the hoopla surrounding them -- has been a strangely inconsistent team this season. They have had winning streaks of 12 and nine games. They also have had losing streaks of four and three games, which is not normal for a team with serious championship aspirations.
Spoelstra believes that the Heat will be playing considerably better at playoff time than at any point they have reached in the regular season.
"Are we close to how we want to be playing?'' he repeated the question. "No. We're coming off the least efficient month this season in January. We didn't play good ball. We have not reached our potential. We're looking to have a bounce-back month in February.''
The Heat were 15-1 in December, but only 9-5 in January. Wade will start February looking for his fourth consecutive game of scoring at least 30 points, which would match the franchise record he already holds.
Even though January was not a good month for the Heat, it marked the best offensive month of the season for James, who averaged 30 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists.
James has upped his scoring each month this season, going from 20.5 points in October, to 24.6 points in November and 25.2 points in December.
"We're looking at the next 10 weeks as a critical time for our team,'' Spoelstra said. "It's time for us to build on the continuity we have and take another jump.''