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After the Heat clinch a playoff spot, they cannot finish higher than sixth place

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The physical and mental health of the players is top priority for the coaching staff at this moment.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Locked into a sixth, seventh or eighth place finish, the Hassan Whiteside drama distracts the Miami Heat coaching staff from their primary objective of keeping the players healthy in mind and body for post-season action.

For all we know, coach Erik Spoelstra may be limiting Whiteside’s minutes to keep him from joining Joel Embiid in the hospital.

With 36 loses, the Heat realistically can finish no higher than 6th, 7th or 8th in the Eastern Conference, and will wind up facing one of the top three teams.

Just going into post-season with mostly healthy players would be an accomplishment of its own at this point.

Players should be less worried about their minutes, than where they fit in the rotation, because Spo won’t be revealing his post-season game plans to other teams for them to use against him.

The Heat know they will be facing either the Toronto Raptors or Boston Celtics, and whichever team finishes third, in the first round, and that itself will be a very tough assignment.

Spoelstra has 13 players who will be active during the playoffs, and he isn’t going to massage anyone’s ego to the detriment of twelve others when he has other priorities to focus on.

Once the playoffs begin there won’t be any time or place to cater to hurt feelings or bodies, because by then it’s either win or go home.