Miami Heat: Best And Worst NBA Play-In Tournament Scenarios

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder(Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder(Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Miami Heat
Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket against Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Miami Heat(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat want to stay as far away from Philly and Joel Embiid for as long as they can in the postseason.

Despite the 1-2 record against the Nets in the regular season, the Heat kept the offense below its averages in shooting and scoring, while in the playoffs, the good defense tends to win out against good offense.

For a team with a bevy of injuries, getting healthy and playing a series that features the biggest disparity in styles in the first round is the Heat’s best chance for an upset. Am I crazy?

Maybe. Am I feeling lucky?

Definitely. Though, you still have to think about the reality of it all too.

The Bad 

The worst situation for the Miami Heat would be a win against the Hornets and a first-round matchup with the 76ers. The Heat do not match up well with Joel Embiid at all.

So far, he has averaged 27 points and 10.5 rebounds against Miami, shooting 61 percent and getting to the line for nearly nine attempts each game. Beyond Embiid, Philly shot nearly 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep in the two games against the Heat this year, averaging 43.5 rebounds and 29.5 assists.

The 76ers can push the Heat around on defense, powering the offense to more success, which plays out in the 131 points averaged against Miami in two games. If that isn’t bad enough, it could get uglier.

The Ugly 

Obviously, losing out in the play-in tournament is the worst-case scenario. The Hornets are set to get LaMelo Ball and Malik Monk back this week.

With the full complement of guards back in the rotation and the return of a solid bench piece, the Hornets are more than dangerous. While there is potential for a second loss to the Wizards, a loss to the Pacers would be far more embarrassing.

Indiana seems to have a different eight guys every game and seems lost when trying to find the true crunch time five for the playoffs.

Next. Dewayne Dedmon has been one of their best players since signed. dark

There is also a very real scenario where the Boston Celtics (up by half a game as this is being written) play themselves out of the 6th seed. While that is the best version for the Heat, that is also less fun for wild speculation.

Let’s see how it all shakes out!