Miami Heat Falls to Second Seed in East; Playoffs Come Early With Pacers Game Friday

It just can't ever be easy, can it?

Wednesday night, the Heat dropped a second straight game, 107-102. The loss, combined with the Indiana Pacers' win against the Milwaukee Bucks last night, means the Heat now holds the second seed in the East heading into the biggest game of the year versus Indiana Friday night. The game almost assuredly will determine home-court advantage throughout the Eastern side of the NBA playoffs.

The Heat has clearly chosen health over home-court advantage all season long, and Wednesday was no different. Wade sat out his eighth straight game with lingering hamstring issues. Birdman, Greg Oden, and Udonis Haslem also sat out the game with various injuries and illnesses. As the team has done all year, it has sat anyone who wasn't 100 percent, regardless of game importance.

The Pacers, after going hard all season, finally followed suit last night, resting their entire starting lineup against the pathetic tanktastic Milwaukee Sucks Bucks. They still won on a last-second buzzer-beater because the Bucks are just that bad.

It will be interesting to see if the rest did the Pacers starters some good, because before last night's game, the Pacers had been 15-15 while allegedly going balls to the walls for that first seed. In the end, it basically comes down to Friday.

Heading into Friday's matchup, Indiana (54-25) holds a half-game lead over Miami (53-25), setting up a loser-goes-home game. Actually, the winner goes home, because they would be the favorite to seal home court. The rest of the East seeds are still in major flux, making it impossible to determine which would present the easier path.

So go ahead and break out your White Hot early this Friday, because the NBA playoffs have arrived a couple of weeks early.

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