In the NBA circus, there are always a lot of tight ropes that get walked every season. As an example, the very thin line that Hassan Whiteside has already established to walk with his emotions and the roller coaster of injuries that attacked the Miami Heat in South Beach.
Fast-forward to the last 15 games of the growing season and the Heat are now trying to manage the balancing act of being on the cusp of attaining the NBA playoffs and sitting home for the summer. And that’s no exaggeration with simply a game and a half keeping them from dropping from seventh spot to an area in 10th.
Every game for Miami has become about creating more and more space. To put it simply, the slight lead that the team holds is inadequate once the three clubs trailing them — the Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers — all hold 2-1 tiebreaker leads over them with one head-to-head matchup left for each.
This is not good for The Heat by putting so much faith in other organizations to accomplish their dirty work.
For anyone who has followed Pat Riley’s guys this season, there’s no secret that nights like these versus terrible teams are usually the rough ones. They’re the games where everything that has been going well for the Heat gets dumped the window — with effort, energy.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already dropped two games to the Pacers and there’s the opportunity that LeBron James won’t be suiting up due to an sickness The up and down San Antonio Spurs face the Celtics after recently losing to the league’s doormats in New York. The Hornets undertake the NBA’s sixth worst team in Sacramento.