Apr 9, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Heat forward Nikola Jovic (5) shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat Chasing The Six Seed

With just three games left in the season for the Miami Heat, their path to a playoff spot looks eerily similar to last year. Just a season ago, the Heat finished 44-38 on the year and on the outside looking in at the playoffs. This would land them the seventh seed in the conference and put them in the play-in.

Luckily for the Heat, after a game-one loss, they would survive the play-in, later making a Cinderella run all the way to the Finals, where they would lose in five to the Nuggets.

This year, the Heat sit at 44-35, just a three-game skid away from finishing with the same exact record as the year before. At 8th in the conference standings, they are just 1.5 games back of avoiding battling it out in the play-in for a second year in a row.

Despite their success after the finish last year, it is safe to say Miami wants to avoid a second year of fighting it out, hoping to claw their way into that 6th seed and guarantee a shot at a 7-game series. With just three games left, they will need to be nearly perfect.

The Path to the Playoffs

Sitting behind both the 45-35 Philadelphia 76ers and the 46-34 Indiana Pacers, the Heat have a way to go. Despite being 6-4 in their last 10, Miami has struggled to gain ground, as both teams have been hot to finish the year. The 76ers are especially hot since the return of star Joel Embiid, winning their last six games. Embiid’s return on April 2 has made the ‘6ers a tough team to beat heading into the playoffs.

For the Heat to sneak into a playoff seed, they would need some luck on their side. If the Heat were to win their last three, beating the Mavericks once and Raptors twice, their 47-35 record could push them over multiple teams. As of now, only 2.5 gams separate the 2-6 seeds in the Eastern conference. In the season’s final couple of games, the playoff picture could get crazy.

Last nights 2OT win was even bigger than it may have seemed for the Heat. With a loss, the Heat would have officially been knocked out of the race and locked into a play-in spot.

Luckily for them, big games from guard Tyler Herro and forwards Nikola Jovic and Jimmy Butler kept them alive.

For now, the Heat can only control the games in front of them and keep their chances alive at a playoff spot. Yet, regardless of what spot they earn, it is safe to say the Heat are capable of making unexpected runs anytime they are in the NBA postseason.

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