The postseason pathway for the Miami Heat is set as they will travel to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the play-in tournament Wednesday night as the winner will face the No. 2 seeded New York Knicks. After Miami beat the Toronto Raptors Sunday afternoon, 118-103, head coach Erik Spoelstra and star Jimmy Butler spoke after the game to talk about their future matchup.

Heading into Sunday, the Heat could've ended between the fifth and eighth seed as besides themselves winning, they needed the Orlando Magic and either the Indiana Pacers or Philadelphia 76ers to lose to sneak out of the play-in tourney. They handled business but the other teams didn't come through as they finished eighth, but Spoelstra isn't complaining as he said “it'll be a great environment.”

“I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a great environment,” Spoelstra said. “Philly has been playing fantastic recently so we know what to expect up there. And that is what we say it's for competitors only and it should be a lot of fun.”

Butler admits it will be a “difficult” challenge against 76ers on the road

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) gets surrounded by the Toronto Raptors defense during the first half at Kaseya Center.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Butler finished the regular season finale with 15 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists as he's looking to recreate the magic from last year and unlock “Playoff Jimmy.” When talking about the upcoming matchup with the 76ers, the 34-year old star said that they have to “play basketball the right way” and accomplish a hard task of beating them on their own floor.

“Just gotta go out there and compete, play basketball the right way and do something very difficult and it's to win on Philly's floor,” Butler said. “This is the time of the year where you're going to have to do that anyways if you want to win a championship. Obviously we have to do it if we want to get to 7.”

Heat had control of their own destiny, Spoelstra focused on task at hand

While Miami is focused on the task at hand, fans will look back and see that the team controlled their own destiny at one point where they could've avoided the tourney as they had some key losses down the stretch like April 7 against the Pacers. However, Spoelstra said ClutchPoints that he's “not even thinking about that” and that in this time of the year, “you can't expect it to be easy.”

“Not even thinking about that at all, that doesn't make sense to me,” Spoelstra said. “We have to prepare for competition and a game on Wednesday. We're looking forward to it. This is the best time of the year. These kinds of environments, the games, the context, all of that. You can't expect it to be easy, no matter what the scenario would be.”

While this season has been whirlwind and had a lot of different factors, they will have to through the same path that Miami went through last year through the play-in tourney. They would actually lose their first game in the tournament to the Atlanta Hawks, but beat the Chicago Bulls the game after and the rest is history as they ended up reaching the NBA Finals.

Butler confident in current Heat team to accomplish championship goal

Comparing that Heat team to last year's is an easy one as while there is familiarity, there is also some new faces on the team like Terry Rozier, Delon Wright, Patty Mills, and you can even count Tyler Herro since he had a broken hand during the playoffs. Butler said after the win to Toronto that he is “very confident” in the group they have.

“I feel good about the group. And that's all I wanted to see these last couple of games. I just wanted to feel it. I know my team. I know the locker room. I can sense this group is ready. That's all you can ask for,” Butler said. “We not the same group as last year, so we leave that where it's at and we're moving forward with the group that we do have. But we, I are very confident in the guys we do have and we know what we're capable of so we'll see what we got.”

Miami finished with a 46-36 record, putting them at eighth in the tightly packed Eastern Conference. They will play the seventh seed 76ers Wednesday night where the winner faces New York, but if they lose, they face the winner of the Chicago Bulls and Hawks Friday. Whoever comes out of that scenario would face the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics.