Q: The previous two seasons, there have been moments where the Heat have seemingly had to "force it" in order to play cohesively and aggressively on a nightly basis. The Heat now seem to be getting into a mode where they play hard every night just for their own entertainment, and that's a great sign of the chemistry this team has built -- Zak, Coconut Creek. A: It's called a team coming together, maturing. They recognized what didn't work and recognized how it made it harder on everyone. So, to a degree, they found the easy way was doing it the right way. There is no doubt they're in a good place right now. Q: Has "the Birdman" been the difference in making this team even better than last year's? He seems to have solidified the defense. -- Jorge, Cooper City. A: His activity certainly has helped. But I think the biggest gain defensively is a core that has played together for a while, and Ray Allen getting more familiar with the concepts. Plus, questionable defenders such as Mike Miller and Rashard Lewis no longer are in the rotation. Basically, the rotation players, including Andersen (and perhaps save for Allen), all are capable of their defensive moments.