I apologize for not posting a recap of the Heat’s game against Portland. I was travelling and had no internet access. On a quick note, though, the Heat did not sustain the level they played with in the first quarter and could not match Portland’s point production. Yes, I think Wade not being their to pressure McCollum with his offense was a factor, but it was an overall poor performance from the Heat in the 110-93 loss.
As the Heat race to what should be a furious finish in the eastern conference race, here is where they are right now. They currently sit in 5th place behind Boston and Atlanta, although they are only half a game behind both squads. They are ahead of Charlotte due to the superior division record and are clear of both Indiana and Detroit at this point. They could face either of those three teams, which would make for some great games no doubt.
The Chris Bosh situation has not changed. He is still on blood thinners, but is seeking opinions from other doctors. A bright spot has been his return to the sidelines and his return to working out and watching film with the younger players. His addition to the rotation and the new style of offense would make the Heat an eastern contender right away due to his versatility on both ends of the floor.
Dwyane Wade is feeling much better from his neck and back soreness that held him out in Sacramento and Portland, so he should be ready to go against Detroit on Tuesday. He will need to be very healthy going into the postseason, because his game and style of play are best suited for the more possession-based playoff atmosphere. He has also played in more big games than I can count, therefore, that experience will give him an edge.
So who would be the best matchup for Miami in the playoffs. Obviously, they want the 3 or 4 seed. Being the 3 seed would have them playing Toronto if both teams won in the first round, while being the 4 seed sets up a date with Cleveland. In my opinion, I think Miami matches up better with Cleveland in that scenario. In terms of first round opponents, thee Heat will most likely play Atlanta, Boston, or Charlotte. They are 3-1 against Atlanta, 0-2 against Boston, and 2-2 against Charlotte. In my eyes, I would not want to play Boston because they are a very dangerous team and their scrappy style of play is perfectly-suited for playoff basketball. A series with Atlanta would most likely go 6-7 games, and Atlanta matches up well in terms of size and mobility down low. A matchup with Charlotte would be the best bet, because Charlotte’s game is more suited for running up and down, but in a slower-paced playoff battle, they may struggle, while Miami has guys like Dwyane Wade and Joe Johnson who can both score in the half-court at will.
All of these questions and concerns will be answered in just over a week as our season draws to a close. I hope to see some great playoff series not just from Miami, but from everyone who makes it.