If the NBA playoffs started today, the eighth-seeded Heat would face the top seed Toronto Raptors in the first round, and they would likely lose. Not only that, but few would remember the series in a few years. It would just be another line in the Heat's program.
On the flip side, there is a matchup still available to the Heat in the first round that would be remembered for years to come. We'll get a tease of it on Tuesday night: Heat vs. Cavs.
Go big or go home. Balls to the wall. All-in. Pick a cliche. Heat fans should hope the team draws LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs this year because it's meant to be. We need this series to make the universe right. Without a Heat-Cavs, LeBron-Wade series, there will forever be a void no other playoff matchup can fill.
The NBA, nay, the world deserves to see LeBron face off against Wade in the NBA playoffs once before one of the future Hall of Famers retires. Just once. Everyone wants it, and this season is likely the last chance of seeing it happen. Between LeBron possibly switching teams this summer and Wade contemplating retirement, this could be it. The NBA gods need to give us what we crave.
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The LeBron-Heat history is obvious, but it's easy to forget Wade and LeBron went at it earlier in their careers. Both players owned the Eastern Conference. Both led fantastic teams from 2003-2010. Yet somehow, some way, they managed to dodge each other in the playoffs all those years. It's a shame
Imagine this scenario: The Heat eliminate the Cavs, then LeBron leaves Cleveland in free agency. Sending the LeBron-Cavs 2.0 Era off with a huge L would be poetic justice for a franchise that's still sour about the way LeBron left Miami. Although tension has lessened since then, Pat Riley would still pop open a bottle of expensive champagne to celebrate the demise of LeBron's Cavs career. That would be extra special — much more meaningful than knocking off a Kyrie Irving-less Boston Celtics team.
So sure, wanting to see Miami-Cleveland in the first round might not be the smartest choice if you want the Heat to have the easiest path to the Finals, but it needs to happen for history's sake. And also because revenge is a dish best served with a side of petty in the first round of the NBA playoffs.