Miami Heat close in on No. 1 seed in East but season is no success – yet

Miami Heat huddle (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat huddle (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat’s season isn’t a success just yet. 

The magic number for the Miami Heat to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference is one. It can be attained several ways but winning just one of their final two games against the Atlanta Hawks or Orlando Magic will get the job done as well.

At this point, it would be surprising if the Heat didn’t enter the NBA playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the East standings. Considering that before the season, many didn’t even have the Heat finishing as a top 4 seed in the conference, that’s a huge win for the team overall.

However, the Heat is not about regular season accolades. It never has been. Especially for this core group, this season won’t be a success until they are able to produce during the playoffs.

The Heat didn’t acquire Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and Markieff Morris to exclusively win 50 games during the regular season. They loaded their roster to make a deep playoff run and ultimately make it back to the NBA Finals.

Winning the No. 1 seed is the first step in making that happen. It will give them the best opportunity to get it done, too. Miami was one of the best home teams in the league this season (28-12) and will get to host every playoff series until the Finals.

After a rough four-game stretch, which crescendoed with a public argument between Jimmy Butler and head coach Erik Spoelstra two weeks ago, the Heat responded in a big way and they’re currently on a five-game winning streak.

The Heat appears to have had turned the corner at the right time. Heading into the playoffs, the Heat will need to be playing at a high level to make a deep run – especially if they draw a team like the Brooklyn Nets in the first round.

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Winning the No. 1, which the Heat is on the verge of doing, is a great first step. But it’s far from a successful season yet for Miami. They still have plenty of work to do.