Miami Heat Check: Guide to the 2nd half of the season & playoff odds

Heat Check Gaming (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Heat Check Gaming (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Heat Check
24k Dropoff Heat Check Gaming (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Predicting The Heat’s Path to the playoffs
From here, I will share with you my predictions on how the rest of the season will go for all of the teams in each group. From there, we’ll be able to determine which teams will go to the big dance and which will be watching at home. For these predictions, I used the team’s record, average point differential, and known hot/cold streaks to determine which teams will win their matchup.

Group A
Pacers Gaming 6-2: I have Indiana going on a four-game winning streak headed into their week ten bye. Indy will play against the Raptors, Grizzlies, Knicks, and Wizards in that order before their time off.

Considering the combination of their great defense and their opponent’s combined average point differential of negative 4.7, this is probably the easiest stretch of games of the season for them and I expect them to come out victorious in each matchup. I expect Indiana to split their last four games starting in week eleven, where they should handle the Hawks, but lose to the Sixers. I see them finishing in week twelve with a loss to the hungry Celtics, but taking care of business with a win against the Nets.

Cavs Legion GC 1-3: Unfortunately, Cleveland has played the most games to date at 12, but only has a sixth-place spot in the standings to show for it. The Cavs only have four games left on the schedule but five weeks to play them. They have a bye week this week, and I predict them coming out strong against the Wizards in week nine.

After that, it’ll be tough for them not to go on a three-game losing streak. They’ll face both the Bucks and the Celtics in week ten, before closing with the Sixers in week twelve after another bye in week eleven.

Nets GC 1-6: I’m calling it now! The Nets probably have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the league and they’re going to pay the price as they all have playoff implications for their opponents as well. I’ve got them on a three-game skid starting this week against Philadelphia, which should continue into next week against Miami and Milwaukee.

There will be a bye week in ten for them to catch their breath before splitting week eleven with a loss to the Grizzlies and a win against the Wizards. At this point, all hope will be lost heading into week twelve where they face juggernauts in Indiana and Dallas. They’re currently in 7th place, but they won’t be by season’s end.

Magic 2-5: Orlando has seven games remaining, yet I have them falling behind the eight-ball early, as their week eight matchup includes both Miami and Milwaukee. After taking back to back losses and resting for week nine, I have them losing a close one against Atlanta but getting flooded by Dallas in week ten. They’ll finish on a two-game win streak against Memphis and Washington but not before losing to the surging Celtics.

Sixers 6-1: The Sixers have an easy road out of group A as long as they handle themselves appropriately come game day. They can hit the ground running with a five-game win streak against Brooklyn, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, and Washington that will be separated by a week nine bye.

Their only real competition will be a week eleven showdown against Pacers Gaming on the back end of a doubleheader. It may not matter much by week twelve but just in case it does, they’ve got Cleveland to finish off the season, which should be an easy win for Radiant and the boys.

Group B
Bucks Gaming 6-0: Group B is small and ripe for the taking by a team that can find a hot streak at just the right time. For me, Milwaukee is that team. I have them going undefeated the rest of the season.

If you’re a Bucks fan, you’d be kidding yourself by not looking ahead on the calendar and breathing a sigh of relief. On the other hand, if you’re a Bucks player, the pressure is on. These are all winnable games against inferior opponents.

If you’re the coach or management, you’re thinking playoffs because this is the easiest spread of games left for any team in the league. They can start strong against Orlando in week eight while facing the second to last place Lakers and the on the bubble Nets in week nine.

Week ten features a matchup against the bubble team Cavs and group mate Utah. They’ll get a week to collect their thoughts before coming out for the final game of the season against the last-place Knicks Gaming.

Jazz 4-4 & Hawks 4-4: These two teams have been at .500 all year and I don’t see them breaking the funk. With eight games remaining for each of them and doubleheaders every time they come to the studio, it’s tough not seeing them continuing their mediocre ways by splitting every week until the end of the season. They both have bye weeks hidden in there, but I reckon it won’t matter much when its all said and done.