First off, here's what's happening. The Miami Heat are a part of a three-team chase for the last playoff seed of the Eastern Conference. The Heat can no longer be #7, only #8. Here are the current standings entering into today.
So here's how this will work. Miami needs to win out it's final two games no matter what. No excuses and no comebacks allowed. The next two Heat games are:
Tonight vs Orlando Magic
Wednesday vs Philadelphia 76ers
If Miami loses, they would need to start studying lottery picks and cross their fingers. If they win, they would still need help. Now about the help.
For Miami to get in Brooklyn needs to lose it's last two games. Keep in mind the Nets are one of the hottest teams in the league, having won seven of their past 10. Brooklyn's remaining schedule?
Tonight vs Chicago Bulls
Wednesday vs Orlando Magic
If Brooklyn wins either of these games, Miami will be eliminated. If the Bulls end up having a better record than Toronto, Chicago will be the #3 seed, so Chicago has something to play for. But do you really see Brooklyn losing to Orlando at home?
For Miami to get in, Indiana also needs to lose it's final two games. Indiana's schedule?
Tuesday vs Washington Wizards
Wednesday @ Memphis Grizzlies
Now the Wizards have home court to play for, because if they end up having the same record as the #4 seeded Bulls, Washington gets home court advantage in the first round. The Grizzlies also have something to play for because they are in the middle of a three-way battle (between them, the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs) for the West's #2 seed. So it's possible that Pacers could lose both games.
So at best case scenario, Miami, Indiana and Brooklyn would all finish the season at 37-45. Miami would then receive the edge and go to the playoffs. Why?
The first tie-breaker is record against the other teams in the tie, putting the Heat in the No. 8 seed: Miami, 5-3 (4-0 vs. BKN, 1-3 vs. IND) Indiana, 4-3 (3-1 vs. MIA, 1-2 vs. BKN) Brooklyn, 2-6 (2-1 vs. IND, 0-4 vs. MIA)
So to sum it all up, six things has to happen for Miami to be in the playoffs. I don't see Miami getting into the playoffs simply because Brooklyn has been too hot as of late to let one slip against Orlando. Now let's look at the other direction for Miami, in case they lose. Here is the current NBA standings from the worst record on up.
Currently Miami has the tenth
best worst record in the NBA and at it's current rate, the Heat would have about a 90% chance of getting a top 10 pick. Now it is IMPORTANT that Miami loses it's remaining two games because things get really complicated for the Heat if they have the same record as other losing teams. If Utah loses out and Miami wins, Utah would then replace Miami as the tenth worst team. Utah will probably lose because the Jazz are finishing the season vs the Mavericks and at the Trailblazers.
Miami will ONLY keep it's lottery pick if it stays at #10 or worse. If Miami decides to get on a winning streak at the worst possible time of the year, the 76ers will inherit the pick. So if Miami is eliminated tonight due to Brooklyn winning, it's important the Heat lose out. Meaning Zoran Dragic should play 48 minutes alongside Michael Beasley, Henry Walker, Tyler Johnson and James Ennis.
As you can see, the odds are stacked against Miami to make the postseason. You can bring up injuries all you want but less than a month ago this injury-ravaged team was a half game shy of taking the #6 seed from Milwaukee. Now here we are talking about faint playoff possibilities or losing for the lottery.