Nets, Knicks skids give Heat new life

Mar 24, 2023 - 9:56 PM
New York Knicks v <a href=Miami Heat" src="" />
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article here with the headline, “Do the Heat have a chance at the sixth seed?” The Brooklyn Nets hadn’t collapsed since trading Kevin Durant at the deadline, so the Heat needed to make up ground. I said the Heat couldn’t afford a loss to the Orlando Magic. That happened, prompting Jimmy Butler to blast Nickelback music in the locker room afterward.

Just a few days ago, I lamented the Heat’s loss to the Chicago Bulls and said Miami needed to hope for a monumental collapse from Brooklyn.

Here we are, the night before the Nets and Heat face each other in their final regular-season matchup. And the Heat hold the sixth seed, not the Nets.

How did that happen?

The Nets have lost five straight games, including a blown lead Thursday night to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat have won four of their last five games, by contrast. The one loss was the debacle in Chicago.

Moreover, the Heat could even catch the fifth-seeded New York Knicks in the standings. New York has now dropped their last three games, including the loss to the Heat featuring a dominant, 35-point Jimmy Butler performance with Dwyane Wade in the stands. The Knicks also lost to the Magic last night.

This latest trend is nice, but the Heat it’ll all unravel if they don’t take care of business tomorrow night against the Brooklyn Nets or next Wednesday in Madison Square Garden. The Heat and Nets both have 34 losses on the season, while the Knicks have 33. Handing The Knicks and Nets another loss puts Miami in good position.

It’s hard to believe that after all the frustration this season, the Heat could finish the regular season out of the play-in. A lot of the credit should go to Jimmy Butler, who said that he “plays for real” after the All-Star break.

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