11:42 AM - January 16, 2014 by MMChrisS
There's no question that the NBA's Eastern Conference is struggling as many playoff eligible teams could make the postseason with losing records. For the top tier clubs like Indiana and Miami this can be a positive -- but it also could lead to complacency.
The cynical sports fan inside all of us sees a Miami Heat team that has won the last two NBA titles and may not feel as though they have as much left to prove. Knowing they can make the playoffs with minimal effort going forward also opens the door to coasting. Not to mention the grind of an 82-game schedule. But while the West is battling for every inch, can a team like Miami simply "turn it on" when the playoffs arrive and still make a championship run?
Sound Off: If the Miami Heat fail to make a deep playoff run this year, who or what will be to blame?
Sports Headlines for January 16, 2014
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was back at practice Wednesday after missing time due to an illness.
- Poking at his relationship with the NBA's outgoing commissioner, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he wants one last fine before David Stern's tenure is over.
- There's little surprise here, but Peyton Manning has been voted the most respected player in the NFL by league players.
- Don't watch the Handball World Championships? You might after seeing this ridiculous goal. [Video]
- It's not the Magic-Buss connection in Los Angeles as former Lakers star Magic Johnson claims the organization's failures rest on Jim Buss.