Former Miami Heat player and occasional TNT analyst Caron Butler noted his former team shouldn’t avoid a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
“You can’t do that,” said Butler regarding the chance both of these teams meet in the postseason, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “You have to be playing your best basketball going into the playoffs. I don’t think Miami will take that approach. I don’t think they fear being a six seed and playing and the Cavs. I actually think that they will welcome that challenge, because there’s so many story lines there.”
“And if you’re Miami, the attitude and disposition that you have as players and that organization has always had is that, ‘Look, we can outwork anyone.”
The Heat’s 113-107 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers now clinched a spot for both the Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers in this year’s postseason, but also made it incredibly difficult for the Heat to garner either the fourth or fifth spot, trailing four wins behind the two.
Miami could also play the seeding game and face off against an injury-plagued and second-seeded Boston Celtics team, who will likely miss the services of Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart for part or the entirety of the first round, giving the Heat a solid chance to make that a series.
The organization can choose to take the cerebral approach and play a game of odds once it comes down to it during the last few games of the year, but having secured a spot in the playoffs being 5.5 games over the Detroit Pistons, it provides plenty of possibilities down the stretch, whether Butler thinks they would take them or not.