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GAME PREVIEW: Heat visit Pistons on final day of regular season

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Miami has one final chance of moving up in the standings in the last game of the season.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


The Miami Heat (39-32) hit the road after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks last night to face the Detroit Pistons (20-51) in the final day of the 2020-21 NBA regular season.

There is still plenty to play for, with a slim chance of escaping a first round matchup with the Bucks — though they will need other teams to cooperate for that to happen. Looking at Detroit’s lengthy injury report, which features former Heat players Rodney McGruder and Wayne Ellington, lets you know just how low the stakes are for the lottery-bound Pistons today.

There are several scenarios for the Heat to jump into the No. 5 seed, all of which require them to beat the Pistons, but they will not be able to reach the No. 4 seed no matter what happens today. Interestingly, it is possible for the Heat to move up one spot if the Hawks win or lose, but they do need the Boston Celtics to beat the New York Knicks for that to happen (tip-off for that game is scheduled for 1pm). Should Miami not be able to move up in the standings if New York wins, they will likely choose to sit out several players tonight as a result of the game being meaningless.

And yes, the Bucks still have a slim chance of reaching the No. 2 seed but would need the Cleveland Cavaliers to defeat the Brooklyn Nets.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 69% chance to win the game.




  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee)
  • Kendrick Nunn: day to day (calf)
  • Jimmy Butler: day to day (back)


  • Cory Joseph: day to day (ankle)
  • Deividas Sirvydis: day to day (tibia)
  • Sekou Doumbouya: out (personal)
  • Isaiah Stewart: out (personal)
  • Dennis Smith Jr.: out (knee)
  • Frank Jackson: day to day (ankle)
  • Wayne Ellington: out (calf)
  • Rodney McGruder: out (elbow)
  • Jerami Grant: out (knee)


Projected Starters

Clippers Position Heat
Clippers Position Heat
Reggie Jackson PG Kyle Lowry
Paul George SG Tyler Herro
Kawhi Leonard SF Jimmy Butler
Marcus Morris Sr. PF Caleb Martin
Ivica Zubac C Bam Adebayo


TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: 620 AM/103.3 FM WTMJ, The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ron Rothstein, Jonathan Zaslow, Tommy Tighe)
SPANISH RADIO: WRTO Mix 98.3 FM (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala). HEAT Spanish Radio Network includes: WEFL ESPN Deportes 760 AM

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!