The Miami Heat were able to have everything go right Monday night, and only needed only one game to go right Tuesday night. Instead Miami faces the reality that for the first time in seven years, the Heat will not be a part of the postseason.
Then again maybe that's good thing considering everything that has happened this season.
As unbearable as it was to watch, the Indiana Pacers finally got to end a Miami Heat season Tuesday even though no one outside of Indiana really cares to celebrate. It took two overtimes of ugly basketball but the Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 99-95, thus officially ending Miami's season. I could post the latest playoff standings but that will probably be adding salt to the wound. Instead, we'll concentrate on the other chase. The lottery. Miami is currently the 10th worst team in the league and in place to get a top 10 pick from the 2015 NBA Draft.
Heading into tonight's game at Philadelphia, here's what needs to happen for Miami to keep its lottery-protected pick.
Miami must LOSE to the 76ers OR Brooklyn must beat Orlando.
The 76ers currently have the 3rd worst record in the league, and Miami still managed to lose to them earlier this season. Most likely the Heat starters will all be out and this will be 48 minutes of frustrating basketball. Wouldn't be surprised if Micheal Beasley comes out and scores 50.
Brooklyn on the other hand will be playing for their playoff lives. If they beat Orlando, and Indiana loses against Memphis, the Nets are the 8th seed. Looking at how Miami dismantled Orlando, expect Brooklyn to do the same, assuring the Heat of the 10th worst record.
Now what is the importance of having the tenth worst record?
For starters it means there is a 91% chance that Miami will be picking #10 in the draft. Also a 4% chance Miami can jump into the top 3 and a 1.1% chance of winning the top overall pick in the draft lottery. Even though 91% is certainly a high number, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised the Heat manage to be a part of that 9% chance that they lose the pick should another team with a better record then the Heat win one of the top three selections. Just been that type of season.
If the Heat's pick falls out of the top 10, it must be forwarded to the Philadelphia 76ers. It was originally dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 in the LeBron James sign-and-trade deal, then sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves last summer in a trade to acquire Kevin Love who then subsequently traded the pick to the Sixers.
The draft lottery will be held next month. As for the remainder of this unheated Playoff scenario, here's the rest of the league as of today:
East seeds 1 ATL 2 CLE 3 CHI or TOR 4 TOR or CHI 5 WAS 6 MIL 7 BOS 8 IND or BKN— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) April 15, 2015
West seeds (fixed) 1 GSW 2 SA, LAC or HOU 3 LAC or SA 4 POR 5 HOU, MEM or SA 6 MEM, HOU or SA 7 DAL 8 NO or OKC— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) April 15, 2015