Ranking 4 potential Heat Play-In opponents by threat level

Taking a look at which Play-In teams would be the smallest and biggest threats to the Miami Heat.

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Less threatening: Chicago Bulls

Nine months ago, the Bulls re-signed Nikola Vucevic to a contract extension. Two years ago, they re-signed Zach LaVine to a contract extension (that they tried and failed to trade away for most of this season). Now these players have either been shut down for the season (LaVine) or cast aside in the rotation for younger and cheaper talent.

What I’m trying to say is that the Bulls are a team in flux with a desolate future. The greatest silver lining – and one of the best stories of the season – has been Coby White’s surge as one of the league’s most improved players. But White alone will not be enough to knock off the Heat in a play-in game.

The Heat are 1-1 against the Bulls but took their loss in a game without Bam Adebayo or Tyler Herro. Other than injuries, it’s difficult to make a case for why the Bulls could knock off the Heat in a potential second play-in game meeting.

Even if the Heat haven’t been world-beaters since the All-Star break (plus-1.5 net rating), the Bulls have one of the 1o worst net ratings (minus-2.9) in that span, even if they are 8-6 in that stretch. 

It’s been enough to keep them in the mix for the bottom rung of the play-in, but they don’t stand much chance of advancing.