With the NBA stepping aside for a night to supply Monday’s basketball stage solely for the NCAA championship recreation, the league’s latest spherical of outcomes supplied the Miami Warmth a sobering reminder of what’s gone, what’s slipping away and the work that additionally stays.
As an example, with the New York Knicks’ Sunday victory over the Washington Wizards, the Warmth have been blocked from the prospect to finish elevated than No. 6 throughout the Jap Convention.
And with the Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls moreover profitable Sunday, it means Erik Spoelstra’s employees would possibly should work all the easiest way into Sunday’s season finale in opposition to the visiting Orlando Magic to search out out when and the place their postseason begins.
At 41-37 and No. 7 throughout the Jap Convention, the Warmth shut out their frequent season Tuesday evening time in Detroit, Thursday evening time in Philadelphia, Friday evening time in Washington after which Sunday’s finale at Miami-Dade Enviornment in opposition to the Magic.
The excessive six seeds advance on to the best-of-seven first spherical that opens April 14. Seeds Nos. 7-10 play in a play-in bracket to search out out the conference’s final two teams in that opening spherical.
So what are the eventualities ahead? Principally each little factor stays in play.
If Warmth go 4-0: If the Warmth win out to close at 45-37, they may nonetheless shut at No. 6 if the Nets shut 1-3 or 0-4. At 43-35, the Nets private the playoff tiebreaker over the Warmth.
At 45-37, the Warmth might be assured of no worse than seventh place, which could indicate as a lot as two possibilities throughout the play-in spherical to secure one victory to advance to the first spherical.
Within the play-in spherical, No. 7 hosts No. 8 for the No. 7 first-round seed. The loser of that recreation hosts the winner of the Nos. 9-10 recreation for the No. 8 first-round seed.
If the Warmth go 3-1: If the Warmth go 3-1 to close 44-38, the one means they may get to No. 6 might be if Brooklyn loses all 4 of their remaining video video games. The Nets have a relatively tender shut: dwelling in opposition to Minnesota, at Detroit, dwelling in opposition to Orlando, dwelling in opposition to Philadelphia.
At 44-38, the Warmth nonetheless might be assured of no worse than seventh place, on the excessive of the play-in tier.
If the Warmth go 2-2: If the Warmth go 2-2 to close at 43-39, the Warmth can finish no elevated than seventh place throughout the East.
With a 2-2 finish, the Warmth would possibly fall to the No. 8 spot throughout the play-in spherical if Toronto wins out, with the Raptors proudly proudly owning the tiebreaker. Toronto closes at Charlotte, two video video games in Boston, then at dwelling in opposition to the Milwaukee Bucks.
If the Warmth finish tied with Atlanta at 43-39 (requiring a 4-0 Hawks shut) or in a three-way 43-39 tie with the Hawks and Raptors, the Warmth might be No. 7, attributable to holding the tiebreaker over Atlanta (thereby giving the Warmth the Southeast Division title, one different tiebreaker).
The Hawks shut on the Bulls, dwelling in opposition to the Wizards, dwelling in opposition to the 76ers and on the Celtics.
If the Warmth go 1-3: If the Warmth go 1-3 to close at 42-40, they nonetheless would possibly retain seventh place if the Raptors go no increased than 2-2, the Hawks no increased than 3-1 and the Bulls no increased than 3-1.
The Warmth would possibly fall no lower than No. 9 with a 1-3 finish.
If the Warmth go 0-4: If the Warmth lose their remaining 4 video video games to finish at 41-41, they may place anyplace from No. 7 to No. 10.
At 38-40, the Bulls not not solely nonetheless would possibly cross the Warmth throughout the standings, however moreover private the tiebreaker. The Bulls shut dwelling in opposition to the Hawks, on the Bucks, on the Mavericks and residential in opposition to the Pistons.