3 Teams worse than the Miami Heat despite their record

The Miami Heat are on the fringe of a tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference, but there are some higher-seeded foes that Miami may still have an advantage over, despite the records.

Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks
Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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1. New York Knicks

Jimmy Butler, Josh Hart
Miami Heat v New York Knicks / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

This is the toughest one to decipher, considering the New York Knicks are an exciting up-and-coming team led by a rising star in Jalen Brunson. They have also retooled to supplement their already formidable rotation coached by one of the best in the league, Tom Thibodeau.

There is a lot to be excited about in New York but, based on recent playoff experience, they are not better than the Miami Heat. Butler and his eighth-seed Heat pulled off another upset by taking down the Knicks a year ago in the second round of the playoffs.

It was a great series, but without an apparent slide tackle to Butler’s ankle courtesy of Josh Hart at the beginning of that playoff matchup, Miami may have swept the Knicks. The Heat stole home court right off the bat with a Game 1 victory at Madison Square Garden, and then Butler was forced to sit out Game 2 because of that bum ankle. Miami lost Game 2 but won both games at home shortly after to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Had Butler been at full strength and still cooking from dismantling the Milwaukee Bucks, this could have been a clean 4-0 sweep.

The Knicks-Heat rivalry goes way back but, over the last three decades, Pat Riley’s Heat have had the edge in postseason success. That could change relatively soon, considering the Knicks have all the tools to become a legitimate threat. But as of now Butler is still aging like fine wine, at the tail end of his prime and handled the Knicks in the playoffs a year ago without being at 100%.

Although the Knicks have had the edge against the Heat during this year’s regular season, they did last year as well and still got sent home when it mattered the most.

dark. Next. More. Ranking 4 potential Heat Play-In opponents by threat level