Kendrick Perkins went on First Take this morning and was asked if the Golden State Warriors were the team to beat if they were at full strength. Perk said no and explained that the Miami Heat are the team to beat. Saying that the morning after they lost to a LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers on a night that saw Russell Westbrook turn the ball over eight times certainly qualifies it as a hot take. When you throw in the fact that it was actually their third loss in four games, well, it's damn near scorching.
Yes, the Heat certainly are a team to beat right now and the Lakers, Nuggets and Celtics have all done just that. Tonight they take on the Clippers in the second night of a back-to-back. Then on Saturday they visit the first-place Utah Jazz. It's a tough stretch for the Heat and the results have matched that.
The good news is that these results don't matter. The Heat are presumably built for the NBA Playoffs. Playing Kyle Lowry 47 minutes in a regular season game will certainly ensure they are full strength when they get that far.