The Miami Heat fell to the Washington Wizards last night, dropping out of the race for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. That honor now falls to the Indiana Pacers and raises some questions about what’s going to happen in the Eastern Conference. The lasting hope of all Miami Heat fans was to see their team rally, overtake Indiana, and guarantee themselves a top seed and a home advantage. That won’t happen now unless the Pacers falter.
It has become clear that Miami Head Coach Erik Spoelstra is now playing a different game, a mind game perhaps, banking on resting his players and getting everyone back in shape to fight their way through the playoffs. LeBron James and Chris Bosh both took the night off in the 114-93 loss to Washington. If you’ve been following the Miami Heat, and who hasn’t, you know that this team is worn down from a long regular season and the effect of being the #1 target in the NBA. Everyone brings their best game against the Miami Heat.
With a single game to go, it’s almost a sure bet that Spoelstra will continue to keep his prime assets on the bench. The Miami Heat have nothing to gain but rest and recovery until the 1st Round of the playoffs arrives. When that happens, and American Airlines Arena is packed to the gills, the real Miami Heat will emerge on a quest for another title. How healthy they are, rather than how motivated they are, may be the deciding factor in finishing with another NBA title.