Heading into the final five games of the regular season, the Miami Heat currently sit in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings. They are one of the last two remaining playoff positions that are still up for grabs with Milwaukee Bucks sitting in the eighth position and the Detroit Pistons being four games back of both teams.
The Heat are currently in the position to secure their second playoff berth in the last three seasons. According to Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel, Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside both have their focus directly on securing a postseason spot.
“It would be great,” Wade said. “I thought we've done a good job since I've been back, winning at home and taking care of business. We didn't do that [Saturday] night, but we come back and we've got another opportunity. It would be great to clinch a playoff spot, but even from there we need to continue to play good basketball, hopefully going into the playoffs. It's great to get it out of the way and we'll talk about it when it happens, but we still have to keep working on our habits and continuing to keep playing. We still have work to do.”
The Heat hold the upper hand at this juncture having to essentially win one more games coupled with a single loss from the Pistons over the next few games. In essence, Detroit would have to win out while Miami goes in the exact opposite direction over that span.
It has stacked the odds greatly in their favor over that final stretch of games that feature back-to-back tilts against the Atlanta Hawks followed by facing the New York Knicks then a pair of home games to end the regular season against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors.
It has been a roller-coaster type season for the Heat that has seen them flutter around a few games over the .500 mark. The team hasn't pushed their way up the standings while they have dealt with nagging injuries to Whiteside for much of the season. Ultimately, the Heat hold their playoff fate in their hands over these final few games of the regular season.