The Miami Heat are basically handing the Indiana Pacers the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, if they want it.
Tonight, the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat play their last game against each other in the regular season. And with the Pacers holding a percentage points lead over the Heat in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, a win for Indy all but clinches homecourt advantage and the No. 1 seed in the East, you’d think.
The Heat are also making it a whole lot easier for the Pacers, as they ruled Dwyane Wade out for tonight’s game. It’s also Wade’s ninth straight game that he’ll miss.
Wade will not play in Friday’s game against theIndiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena. It marks the ninth straight game he has missed due to a strained hamstring.
“Dwyane won’t play but he is getting better,” Heat coachErik Spoelstra said. “He did a workout (Friday).”
While Pacers coach Frank Vogel held out his entire starting lineup out against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, all are expected to be a go against the Heat tonight.
The only thing that’s standing in the way of the Pacers securing homecourt advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs is winning a game that they’re supposed to win. But, of course, it’s no slam dunk since they haven’t really been doing that as of late.
Miami, on the other hand, is more than happy to enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed. Avoiding Brooklyn in the second round wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. However, it’s more about health for the Heat right now — and if they can trade the No. 1 seed in for a healthy D-Wade, they’ll take that trade every day of the week. They’ll certainly be doing that tonight.