The Heat are closing out the season a little differently than the past few years. Previously, Miami's playoff positioning is determined, and the stars have rested the last 2-3 games before the playoffs. That's unlikely this year.
The Heat have 7 games remaining, with the first six of them coming against playoff contending teams. This week, the Heat play four games, all on national television. Let's take a look at what's to come.
Sunday, April 6 vs New York Knicks; 1:00 on ABC
This is a possible playoff matchup for the Heat in the first round. The Heat are hoping to hang onto the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, and if they do, it could mean playing the Knicks in the first round. New York is one game out of the final playoff spot behind the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks lost in the Garden on Friday and they are running out of time. Meanwhile, the Heat try to recover from a home loss to Minnesota and not lose any more ground to the Pacers who are right on their heels.
Tuesday, April 8 vs Brooklyn Nets; 8:00 on TNT
The Nets have beaten the Heat all three times they have played this year. And it's clear to us that the Heat wouldn't want to get swept by a team that enjoys beating them. The Nets are the only team in the NBA that they Heat haven't beaten this year. With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in tow, the Nets are gaining confidence they could beat anyone in the East. This is Miami's chance to halt that confidence. The Nets are battling for the best playoff spot they can get behind the Bulls and Raptors at this point.
Wednesday, April 9 @ Memphis Grizzlies; 8:00 on ESPN
The Grizzlies are looking for revenge. They lost in Miami in a game they had control of, and they had to finish without Marc Gasol. Memphis is fighting desperately for the last playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference. And in the second night of a home-road back-to-back, this will be a tough game for the Heat.
Friday, April 11 vs Indiana Pacers; 7:30 on NBATV
The awaited rematch comes to South Beach. The Heat will finish out their week with the most important game they will play before the playoffs. We don't know what the standings will look like at this point, but it will be important. It could propel one of these teams to locking up the conference, and give some momentum heading into a probable Conference Finals matchup. The Pacers have been struggling, but they will be up and ready to play the Heat.
That's the week, they'll be on TV, so make sure you tune in. This is an important stretch for Miami, and will give them a great test run as they head into the playoffs in two short weeks.