Like so many from their generation, Heat players have a fascination with comedic films featuring Will Ferrell.
Mario Chalmers openly admits to his avid appreciation of “Elf,” which was a modest critical and commercial success at best. Shane Battier has engaged his Twitter followers with passionate Ferrell debates and will insist that you keep one of the top spots open for the altogether Oscar unworthy “The Ladies Man.”
So it was no surprise that in the visiting TD Garden locker room Monday night, Dwyane Wade — having run out of conventional cliched answers to capture the magnitude of Miami’s 23-game winning streak — drew inspiration from a Ferrell character. Asked what it meant, and how it felt, to hold the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, Wade pulled some philosophy from the mostly forgettable racing spoof “Talladega Nights.”
“If you’re not first, you’re last,” Wade said. “That’s what Ricky Bobby said.”
Of course, all this Ferrell stuff makes perfect sense now in light of the Heat getting within 10 games of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ all-time NBA record of 33 straight wins. After all, if any Ferrell scene sticks out for its sheer silliness, it’s the one from the fraternity romp “Old School” when his character Frank the Tank screamed this to a party crowd:
“We’re going streaking!”
And then he did, through the streets in socks and sneakers.
Wade would never go that far — the man simply likes his fashionable threads too much. Still, in honor of the 23-game run the Heat have now taken to Cleveland, here are some other famous quotes from the Ferrell cinematic experience that might be appropriate utterances from members of the Heat.
“It’s not even fair, it’s like fishing with dynamite.”
Chaz Reinhold, the pick-up legend who lives with his meatloaf-making mother in “Wedding Crashers,” used this to characterize his chances of scoring with women at funerals.
One could say, however, that the line applies neatly to the next four Heat contests. Cleveland, Detroit, Charlotte and Orlando entered Tuesday night’s play with the four lowest win totals in the Eastern Conference and a combined 78-192 record.
Wednesday night, the Cavaliers will be without arguably their three best players in Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters. It should be noted, though, that Miami’s margin of victory is actually lower during the streak against non-playoff opponents (10.9 in 11 games) than against playoff opponents (11.6 in 12 games).
“I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal.”
Ron Burgundy’s humble brag from “Anchorman” would seem an appropriate retort for LeBron James the next time some reporter seems surprised that the Heat star — who has been dominant down the stretch all season — saves the Heat’s collective skin. Monday night in Boston, that meant hitting a 3-pointer to start the rally after the Heat had fallen behind by 13 and then sinking the game-winning 20-foot jumper with 10.5 seconds left.
James is a plus-282 during the streak.
Wade is a plus-297.
So perhaps the latter could use the line, too.
“You’re so wise. You’re like a miniature Buddha covered with hair.”
That’s another Burgundy quotation, from a conversation with his border terrier Baxter. Heat players should address it to Chalmers whenever the point guard recovers from some blunder and their berating — as he did after letting Courtney Lee leak open to the corner Monday — in order to come through in the clutch. Monday, his 3-pointer put Miami ahead 101-100.
Chalmers is shooting 43.2 percent from deep during the streak and has more steals (34) than turnovers (33).
“Is anyone asking how my hand feels after punching that iron-like jaw of that baby? I can barely make a fist!”
Cam Brady’s plea from “The Campaign” would come in handy if anyone asks whether the Heat take any pity on any of these overmatched opponents. After all, every team is operating under the same salary cap. Heat president Pat Riley, with his fistful of rings, merely operates better.
“Everybody panic! Oh my God, there’s a bear loose in the coliseum! There will be no refunds! Your refund will be escaping this deathtrap with your life! If you have a small child, use it as a shield!”
This was Jackie Moon’s warning to an ABA crowd in “Semi-Pro.”
This brings us back to Monday night.
Wouldn’t it have been nice for someone on the Heat to warn Jason Terry in this way, as James was getting loose in the air about to bury the chatty Celtics guard beneath a vicious dunk?