The Miami Heat want no part of the NBA's first season of the play-in tournament for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
After defeating the Charlotte Hornets Sunday, the goal is to avoid that experience. For that to happen, the Heat have to finish in at least the No. 6 seed. The hold that spot and are one game ahead of the No. 7 seeded Boston Celtics with seven games remaining.
“We definitely want to be in the top six and not play in the seeding game,” Heat guard Goran Dragic said. “We need to fight every game because it’s important. It is the playoffs. The preparation is just different.”
Center Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 20 points and 10 rebounds against the Hornets while Jimmy Butler had 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Heat guard Kendrick Nunn also finished with 19 points while Dragic had 18.
Teams who finish No. 7 through No. 10 will compete in the play-in field in order to quality for the postseason. The Heat, who have won four of their last five, are using the play-in factor as even more motivation to finish strong.
“You want to be playing your best basketball at the right time and I'm praying, I'm hoping that right now is the right time for us to being playing our best basketball,” Butler said.
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