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March 19, 2013

NBA: The path to 33 might not be that daunting for Heat

(Continued)

— Detroit (23-46), Friday.

Miami has lost one game at home since mid-December and returns to face a Pistons team that has currently lost nine straight games. Brandon Knight is hurting, and probably still reeling from that DeAndre Jordan dunk incident when he was plowed over in the lane against the Los Angeles Clippers.

If there's a silver lining for the Pistons right now, what James did to Boston's Jason Terry on a dunk Monday night may have ensured what happened to Knight becomes a distant memory.

Heat victory odds: Excellent.

— Charlotte (15-52), Sunday.

The worst team in the NBA. Name five Bobcats. OK, name three Bobcats. Unless Michael Jordan himself plays ...

Heat victory odds: Above excellent.

— At Orlando (18-49), March 25.

Here's the first real potential for a slip-up. The Heat are 2-0 against the Magic this season, those two wins coming by a combined THREE points. And it's on the road, in a back-to-back scenario. Miami has excelled on the second night of back-to-backs all year, but the Magic always get riled up for the Heat.

Heat victory odds: Average.

— At Chicago (36-30), March 27.

Imagine the possibilities. A Bulls team trying to stay in the fight for home-court advantage in the first round of the East playoffs, facing Miami — which provokes more lusty boos in Chicago than perhaps anywhere else — and maybe, just maybe, with Derrick Rose back in the lineup by then?

Chicago has beaten Miami already this season, doing so on the Heat home floor. And while no opponent likes the Heat, the Bulls seem to have particular disdain for them, perhaps still ticked off over how James, Chicago native Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all decided to pass on a move to the Windy City during that ballyhooed summer of 2010.

Heat victory odds: Fair.

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