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Game #77: Miami Heat (42-34) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (15-60)

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Use this post as your Open Game Thread

The Heat managed to fight their way through the game in Indiana, coming out with a big time win.  I'm sure there was a big collective sigh of relief after the game, considering that the Pacers game was probably going to be the toughest of their last 7 games.  Tonight they have a relatively easier opponent in Minnesota, who boast the worst record in the Western Conference. 

I'm not worried about the Heat overlooking any of their remaining opponents because they have a goal in mind of winning games, regardless of who or where they are playing.  A win tonight would clinch a playoff spot for Miami, as well as keep them alone in the 5 seed. 

Recently there has been some confusion as to how the top 4 seeds in each conference are determined.  I was certain that the top 3 spots went to division winners, but that is not the case.  Here is how it works, straight from NBA.com:

Teams 1 to 4 in each conference are the three division winners and the team with the next best regular-season record, with the seeding of these four teams determined by regular-season record. The playoffs seedings of Teams 5 to 8 are based upon regular-season record.

While it appears that Michael Beasley took a step backwards last night after his big game in Detroit on Wednesday, I beg to differ.  He has more rebounds in his last two games (16) then in his previous four games (15).  That means that he is back to working hard regardless of how his offensive game is going.  He did well early in the season due to hard work and effort, and the fact that he is getting back to that is a very good sign.

GAME NOTES

  • The Heat is 19-10 in games started by Carlos Arroyo and 10-3 in games started by Joel Anthony.
  • A win will clinch the Heat a playoff spot for the 6th time in the last 7 years. 
  • Miami has allowed just 82.7 points/game during their 7-game win streak.
  • The Heat have won 3 of their last 4 visits to the Target Center and haven't been swept in a season series by Minnesota since 2003-04. 
  • Minnesota needs a win to guarantee that they wont match their franchises worst season, set with 15 wins in 1991-92. 
  • The Heat come in with a 6-10 record on the 2nd night of back to backs. 
  • Miami is 14-15 against the Western Conference this season, with this game being the last inter-conference game of the year for the Heat (until the Finals...?)

Tipoff from Target Center is set for 8pm.  Another DVR-delay night for me (what else is new)...so enjoy the game Heat fans...lets go for 8 in a row!