The Miami Heat will conclude their regular season on Wednesday night as they visit the Philadelphia 76ers. Because the Indiana Pacers beat the Washington Wizards in 2OT on Tuesday night, the Heat have already been eliminated from the playoffs.
Miami has nothing to play for, other than to possibly lose and keep their status as a bottom 10 team to possibly keep their first round pick in this June's NBA Draft. The Heat could still be tied with Brooklyn for #10 if the Nets lose on Wednesday vs the Magic, but the Nets are still playing to make the playoffs.
I hope people fully understand the weirdness of tomorrow’s game between Heat and Sixers. Both teams want to lose for the same draft pick.— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) April 15, 2015
The Sixers are anxious to put this season behind them with yet another disappointing win total. But with how they have dealt with their assets, it seems to be their plan. They have the chance to have several first round picks in this upcoming draft. But, it is fan appreciation night and one win isn't really going to hurt them. They will have some energy.
Philly has a lot of players you might not know, and they are young. The Heat have struggled against them this season, but this will be a different type of game. Nerlens Noel will be the biggest matchup problem simply because of the Heat's depth issue up front. Noel plays the four and is big and long, while Miami can only throw Michael Beasley and Udonis Haslem at him.
Hassan Whiteside has something to play for as he continues to put together a great string of games hoping to be noticed by others for the NBA's Most Improved Player Award. A big game here could go a long way as ballots are due Thursday afternoon.
With the reality that the Heat can't make the playoffs, we aren't really sure yet who will be playing and who will just sit out. Everyone is healthy enough to go, but that doesn't mean that they will.
Tonight is the last night of the regular season, play FanDuel tonight for $2 and win thousands of dollars!
Heres' the probable starters for the game:
|Ish Smith||PG||Mario Chalmers|
|Robert Covington||SG||Tyler Johnson|
|Jerami Grant||SF||Luol Deng|
|Nerlens Noel||PF||Udonis Haslem|
|Furkan Aldemir||C||Hassan Whiteside|
Here's the details:
I hope you are motivated to support the Heat one more time this season, because after this you won't see them again until late October. Let's end the season strong (in support)!
Come back and join us on the GameThread to chat about it all.