Saying there is a tremendous amount of pressure on the Miami Heat heading into its 8 p.m. Friday matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves is an understatement — so much is on the line, with so little time left in the season, and almost zero room for error. The Heat's disappointing back-to-back losses to the Boston Celtics this past week have put the team in a virtual win-or-go-home situation in each of its final four games.
Lose to the Wolves tonight in Minnesota, and the Heat can pretty much kiss the playoffs, and any bonus Dwyane Wade postseason moments, goodbye. That would be a major bummer.
The prize for making the postseason would likely be a first-round matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that has destroyed the Heat in their last three meetings by a combined 82 points. Heat players would probably find themselves on the business end of a Bucks buzzsaw in the playoffs. Four blowouts and hard-to-watch basketball games would almost definitely be on tap.
But bring on the Bucks. A clean sweep would not only mean Heat fans get more Wade, but his final game would be played in Miami. Sign us up for that. There would be a silver lining to being swept out of the playoffs — saying goodbye to Wade in the 305.
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One more loss would likely mean the Heat no longer controls its destiny and would need a loss from another team for a shot at a playoff spot. It would also mean Wade might be playing his last game in Miami on Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers before the team finishes the season in Brooklyn against the Nets.
That's gross. The thought of Wade walking off the court for the last time in Brooklyn, win or lose, with nothing but wine and Instagram photos on his schedule for the next few months, hurts Heat fans' hearts.
For all the playoff moments Wade has brought Heat fans — all the pre-tip stomach butterflies and fiery introductions in the American Airlines Arena — it only makes sense that his career end in the house where he's (mostly) lived since 2003. His house.
Yes, that would be OK even if it meant getting swept in the first round of the playoffs, as painful as that would be to watch. Because it would all end in Miami, which is only right.