It’s plausible that the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers will face each other in the first round — No. 3 Cleveland’s game against No. 4 Philadelphia tonight will likely decide that. If the Cavaliers hold on to the third seed and Miami stays put at six, the Heat would get something they fell a Game 7 victory short of in the 2016 playoffs — face LeBron James in the playoffs.
Dwyane Wade commented on the possibility today. He said that such a match-up would be a “David-vs.-Goliath situation,” with a Miami team devoid of superstars playing against the team with the game’s greatest one.
Dwyane Wade on the possibility of facing LeBron and the Cavaliers in the playoffs pic.twitter.com/VidyUrEA5t— Tom D'Angelo (@tomdangelo44) April 6, 2018
Wade also said that LeBron “goes dark on everybody” during the playoffs, so the two friends won’t talk until after the series ends. And as for the hope that Wade’s brief stint as a Cavalier could give the Heat a slight edge in the matchup? Wade shot down that notion. The following excerpt is from an article by the Palm Beach Post’s Tom D’Angelo:
“What does it matter?” Wade said following today’s shootaround in preparation for tonight’s game against the Knicks. “The playbook for the Cavaliers is LeBron James, and then everything else. So no one has been able to download him for 15 years. Obviously, teams have beaten him, greater teams from the standpoint of what Golden State has been able to do. … San Antonio at a certain time. But no one has been able to download LeBron.”
A first-round matchup against the Cavaliers would create the best storyline — pundits would discuss the lingering tensions between Pat Riley and James — but Miami may have a better chance of advancing against a young Philadelphia 76ers team or a Kyrie Irving-less Boston Celtics team. Regardless of which team Miami faces, the Heat would come into the series as the underdogs.