This could be it for Dwyane Wade this week. He currently has 2 games in the regular season left with the Miami Heat, and while the playoffs are still within reach there’s certainly a feeling that this is Wade’s last week as a pro. With commercials like this one from Budweiser infused with pathos, there’s a feeling of an emotional goodbye in the air.
Is it really over, though? Despite a 4-game losing streak, Miami (38-42) only trails the Pistons by a game for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Charlotte is also a game back of Detroit.
This is a reversal of fortune. Prior to the recent lull, the Heat had won 6 of its last 9, with 2 of the losses being the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. 2 of those wins come on the road versus likely Western playoff teams in Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
It’s not going to be easy to climb into the No. 8 seed. Miami has to take out a pair of already-clinched playoff teams in Philadelphia tonight (7:30 p.m. EST, Fox Sports) and Brooklyn on the road tomorrow.
Let’s take a dive into the postseason chances and potential tiebreakers with time quickly running out for Wade and company.
Heat Playoff Chances & Potential Seeds
The margin for error here is razor thin. According to Playoff Status, Miami enters the evening with a 1 percent chance of making the postseason (and only as an 8-seed).
ESPN’s BPI is also pessimistic, giving the Heat just 1.3 percent odds. The metric also predicts a 39-43 record, which would tie with Charlotte and leave Miami still a game behind the Pistons.
Per Playoff Status, even a win tonight is not nearly enough. Beating the Sixers in South Beach would boost the postseason chances to just 3 percent. A loss would knock the Heat out of contention.
Miami Heat Remaining Win Probabilities and Tiebreakers
Team Rankings pegs their final record at 39-43. The Sixers will be utilizing their bench tonight, as Joel Embiid and JJ Redick (among others) will be sitting. While Philly is a lock as a No. 3 seed, this is probably the better chance to win for Miami, as Brookyln will be motivated to maximize its seeding.
Team Rankings gives the Heat about a 50/50 chance at taking tonight’s game. Tomorrow’s trip to Barclays Center holds just over 40 percent odds at a win.
The only bright side to the latter? Games away from South Beach aren’t the worst thing in the world. The Heat are currently 20-20 outside of American Airlines Arena as opposed to 18-22 inside it.
The problem with Miami’s chances are that they don’t hold tiebreakers over either Detroit or Charlotte. As SB Nation puts it, it makes this week’s objective pretty clear.
Miami needs two wins more than Detroit and one win more than Charlotte to get in.
Miami would need Detroit to lose to both the Timberwolves and Knicks in the final 2 games to even have a shot. In addition, Charlotte has to lose to either Cleveland or Orlando.
Even with 2 wins tonight and tomorrow, Wade and Miami are probably done.