2 Teams the Heat want to face in the first round, 2 teams they should be scared of

As the playoffs approach, the Miami Heat are heading towards a lower seeding. What teams will they want to avoid facing? Who are their most favorable matchups?

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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The Miami Heat are gearing up for the playoffs and are trying to avoid being in the play-in tournament for the second straight season.

With only 12 games remaining, it will be difficult for Miami to secure a top seed barring a miracle. That means they will face a tougher opponent in the first round of the playoffs. However, some opponents are much tougher than others. There are a few teams the Heat will want to avoid in the postseason, while they might feel comfortable taking their chances against other opponents.

Here are two teams the Miami Heat will want to avoid in the first round, and two ideal matchups.

Avoid: New York Knicks

It is difficult to predict what to expect from the New York Knicks this postseason. The Knicks are currently dealing with several injuries. It could be argued that it would be better to face the Knicks early and knock them out before they can get healthy. However, if everything goes right for them and their key players return before the playoffs, they will be a tough team to beat.

The Knicks have a 15-2 record when OG Anunoby plays. Their defensive efficiency as a collective unit is one of the best in the NBA. The Knicks have missed Julius Randle since late January, who will provide an all-around boost for the team in the postseason if healthy. Jalen Brunson has been playing at an All-NBA level. He has ramped up his scoring, averaging over 40 points over a recent three-game stretch.

Brunson was arguably the best player in the series when the Heat and the Knicks faced each other in the Conference Semifinals last postseason. The Heat had a difficult time stopping Brunson from scoring, who averaged 31 points per game in the series. He helped turn the series into one of the most competitive ones Miami faced on their way to the Finals. This is a much better Knicks team than the Heat faced last year. They are ramping up for the playoffs and if they get healthy at the right time, they could be a threat.