HOUSTON — Even Houston coach Kevin McHale is caught up in the Miami Heat’s winning streak, and he wouldn’t mind seeing it continue against his former team.
Miami plays in Boston on Monday night, seeking its 23rd consecutive victory. The Heat beat Toronto 108-91 on Sunday to tie the 2007-08 Rockets for the second-longest winning streak in NBA history. Those Rockets were coached by Rick Adelman and McHale succeeded him in 2011.
McHale won three championships and was a seven-time All-Star during his time with the Celtics from 1980-93. He watched part of Miami’s win on Sunday and would like to see the Heat keep it going in Boston.
“I’d kind of like to see the streak go a little bit, because it’s so unique,” McHale said before the Rockets played Golden State on Sunday night. “It’s cool and I think that everybody starts watching the NBA a little bit more. It’s good for the league.”
McHale is impressed that the Heat’s streak has lasted this long. He acknowledged that even his best Boston teams lost their focus when they got on long winning streaks.
“You do get bored a little bit, and you get complacent,” McHale said. “You start taking for granted that you’re going to win and then you need to lose one or two, and then you need to get refocused and play. That’s just what happens.
“It’s a grind, the NBA is,” he said. “The thing I’ve always been impressed about with long winning streaks is the fact that you keep your concentration long enough to do it. You win 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 in a row, you go into a bad team, it’s this late in the year, that’s usually when you stumble.”
The NBA’s longest streak is 33 games, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Having LeBron James helps Miami’s chances of reaching that milestone, McHale said, but he thinks the Heat also need his supporting cast to keep playing well, too.
“They’ve had great games from (Chris) ‘Birdman’ Andersen, who came off the waiver wire,” McHale said. “They’ve got nice symmetry going. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the streak.”