Looming dangerously in the 1 seed pic.twitter.com/1yXKlEfklj— Z - Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 8, 2022
With two games left in the regular season and their record standing at 52-28, the idle Heat secured the top seed tonight after the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 127-121 while the Toronto Raptors defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 119-114.
As Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel details, the Heat are assured the best record in the East standings:
As the result of those results, only Milwaukee can match the Heat’s 52 victories before the regular season ends Sunday. However, with the Heat and Bucks having split their four-game season series (the first playoff tiebreaker) and potentially to stand tied in conference record (the second tiebreaker), the Heat are assured of a better record against East teams in the playoff pool (the next tiebreaker).
Z - The Eastern Conference runs through Miami pic.twitter.com/DOZJisFrxb— Z - Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 8, 2022
Not only will the Heat enjoy homecourt advantage at minimum throughout the East playoffs and play host for the first two games of each series and any possible Game 7s, they can now rest several of their players until the first round. The entire team will rest additional days as they await the results of the play-in tournament between the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Miami will know who the No. 8 team will be by April 15, with the Game 1 of the first round scheduled for April 17 at the FTX Arena.