5 Unlikely heavyweights positioned to make surprisingly deep playoff runs

Having been overlooked for much of the season, there are 5 unlikely heavyweights that could be in position to make a deep playoff run.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game One
Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game One / Elsa/GettyImages
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Miami Heat

After a stretch in which the Miami Heat lost seven straight games and 11 of 16 overall over the course of the month of January, they're beginning to play much better as a team of late. In the month of February, the Heat have won eight of 10 games. It's almost as if something has clicked for the Heat in the past 10 games.

During that stretch, Miami has the second-best defense in the league with a top 5 net rating. The Heat surely still has some figuring out to do on the offensive end of the floor, but there are encouraging signs that Miami is beginning to hit its stride heading down the stretch. That could open the door for a deep playoff run, especially if the postseason bracket falls in their favor.

With how the Eastern Conference standings sit at the moment, there's a chance the Heat take on a much less experienced Cleveland Cavaliers team in the first round and avoid the Boston Celtics until the conference finals. Overall, for as good as the Cavaliers have been this season, the Heat has to like their chances in a playoff series if it comes to it.

It hasn't been a banner year of consistency for the Heat, but they're always going to be a strong threat in the East down the stretch.