In the latest SB Nation NBA power rankings, compiled by Seth Rosenthal, the Miami Heat are currently ranked No. 6 after wins last week against the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns and a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Rosenthal wonders if the fact that the Heat were short-handed during their most recent road trip helped build some team chemistry:
Playing that long road trip a bit short-handed may have been a bit of a team-building experience. Guys like Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis and Udonis Haslem made meaningful contributions when called upon, helping pull Miami through a grueling stretch. Following that crazy Grizzlies game, the perimeter defense continued to sputter against the Clippers, but it was still a decent enough road trip, all things considered.
The Heat have games this week against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
As for the Orlando Magic, who lost two of their three games last week, they find themselves ranked No. 26 according to Rosenthal. He believes that part of the reason why the Magic has been struggling so far this season is because they have been playing from behind due to some slow starts:
One of several things killing the Magic right now: They're starting games slowly. Even with Jameer Nelson back in the starting unit, Orlando's early deficit had them playing from behind for much of Sunday afternoon's game and set to collapse once they'd finally pulled even.
The Magic have games this week against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, Detroit Pistons on Wednesday and the Cavaliers on Friday.