The formerly worst team thoroughly beat the conference’s No. 1 playoff seed on Sunday night. , , And no one blinked.
Welcome to closing night in the NBA.
With the Miami Heat defending their playoff rotation, coach Erik Spoelstra played it safe to resume play at the start of the post-season at the FTX Arena this coming Sunday, a 125–111 loss at the Amway Center. turned into.
While Victor Oladipo had a chance to make another statement, and in just a 40-point performance, the personnel elements most relevant to the Heat were those who were excluded, a list that included Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, and others. PJ Tucker and Max Strauss – also known as the starting lineup – as well as major reserves Tyler Herrow, Caleb Martin and Dwayne Deadman.
Adebayo missed the game after entering NBA health and safety protocols. The injuries at rest were Tucker (calf) and Deadman (ankle), with Markif Morris (hip) also excluded.
Next their playoff opener for the Heat is against the conference’s No. 8 playoff seed, which will be determined by this week’s play-in rounds.
Next up for the Magic is the No. 2 seed in the NBA Draft Lottery.
Javonte Smart added 20 points for the Heat, with Haywood Highsmith scoring 16 from the Heat’s watered-down rotation, with the Heat closing the season 53-29.
The game mostly stood as a 3-point-a-thon, closing out 23 out of 58 from Beyond Magic Arc, Heat 19 of 50.
Five degrees of heat from Sunday’s game:
1. Playoff Seeding: With the Boston Celtics’ road win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, the Heat’s potential road to the NBA Finals clearly came to mind.
The Heat’s first-round rivals come from the play-in pool of the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets, with play-in seeding favoring Cleveland to emerge as the Heat opponent.
The winner of the Heat’s opening round series will face the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors at No. Will be from the winner of 4-5 series.
This could lead to the Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks facing off in the Eastern Conference Finals as soon as possible.
2. Oladipo Opportunities: As was the case a week earlier, when Butler was knocked out in a road win over the Toronto Raptors, Oladipo maximized his chance.
This time he scored seven points in the first of the heats, finishing the first quarter with nine. He was then up to 25 points at half-time, the highest-scoring first half by a Heat player this season. The high for any half was 26 against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half on February 26.
Oladipo became the 11th player in the franchise’s 24 seasons to score at least 25 runs in the half.
Whether that translates into playoff play time is another story, given that they were ruled out of the following two games after scoring 21 in Toronto, their first game back since Sunday.
Oladipo closed 13 of 22 off the field, with 10 rebounds and seven assists.
3. Role of Robinson: After being transferred to the bench two weeks ago in what would likely be his playoff role, Robinson was the only member of the rotation starting Sunday, in a lineup scored by Oladipo, Highsmith, Omar Yurtseven and Mychal Mulder.
Robinson (79 of 82 games) led the Heat in games played for the third consecutive season, tying for the franchise record. Glenn Rice and Norris Cole both previously led the Heat in games played for three consecutive seasons, with Rice’s run ending in 1995 and Cole’s in 2014.
Robinson lasted 20 minutes, closing with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists, shooting 3 of 9 at 3-pointers.
4. Over and Out: Sunday was the final performance of the season for the Heat’s Mulder and Smart, both players with two-way contracts, ineligible for the playoff roster.
Two-way players were given a playoff exception in the last two seasons due to the pandemic.
Mulder and Smart both have contracts that keep them in control of the Heat during the off-season, allowing both to train and practice with the Heat during the playoffs.
Mulder finished with 11 points.
5. Haslam Time: With the Heat protecting their rotation players, Heat captain Udonis Haslem played 63 minutes before Sunday for the 13th time this season.
Haslem was called out for three fouls in his first eight minutes, including a 25-second block-charged play in the second period, which was challenged by Magic and Haslem was dismissed for a blocking violation.
Haslem played 20 minutes and finished with two points and six rebounds.