Mercifully, the Heat's regular season came to an end Wednesday night with a 100-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Heat loss means Miami finishes the season with a 54-28 record, 12 games worse than last season's franchise record 66-win campaign.
With the second seed in the East locked up prior to the game, the Heat had nothing to play for, positioning-wise, and it showed. Wade got in some work as he shakes off some of the rust he's accumulated sitting out so many games this season, but other than that, it was all about getting it over with as the team moves on to more important things.
Other teams did have something to play for last night, though, as everything from the third seed to the seventh seed were in flux until late into the night.
Here's a breakdown of how everything landed after 82 games:
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 17, 2014
The Nets lost their last two games, dropping them to the sixth seed and onto the Heat's side of the bracket. If the Heat advances past the Bobcats, it would face the winner of the Raptors-Nets series.
The slide from the fifth to sixth seed by the Nets was obviously premeditated. Brooklyn sat all its starters Wednesday against the Cavs in an effort to not only dodge a first-round matchup with the Chicago Bulls but also set up a potential future series versus the Heat -- against whom -- yes, it's true -- they swept the four-game regular-season series. You chose poorly, Nets.
Now the fun begins. The Miami Heat's quest for a three-peat starts this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Arena versus the Charlotte Bobcats. That's THREE THIRTY when the game starts, not what time you need to ask for your check, so don't embarrass me. Get to the arena on time.
The Heat will once again bring that good juju and continue the "White Hot" theme, so wear white, because that's how this works. If you don't wear white, there will be T-shirts, so put them on -- don't be that asshole in the game-winning shot photo wearing a pink shirt and sunglasses surrounded by a sea of cooperating white-clothed Heat fans.
Heat First Round vs. Charlotte: Sunday April 20, Wednesday April 23, Saturday April 26, Monday April 28.
— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) April 17, 2014
The entire Heat playoff schedule is listed above, and it works out great for the Heat, specifically Dwyane Wade's lower torso. Two games between games is very advantageous for the older Heat players and will give Wade 48 hours to recoup, something the regular season rarely allows. The added rest further supports the notion that the Heat can use the first round to get Wade and James accustomed to playing with each other after playing more than 700 fewer minutes together this season than last.
Burn the boats.
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