Apr 15, 2024 - News

Heat must survive Play-In Tournament to make NBA Playoffs

Terry Rozier #2 of the Miami Heat handles the ball during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 4, 2024 at Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida.

Miami Heat guard Terry Rozier attacks the Philadelphia 76ers defense at a game this month. Photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The Heat weren't good enough this year to automatically qualify for the NBA Playoffs, but Miami can still earn one of the final two spots in the playoffs by winning the Play-In Tournament.

Why it matters: The Heat haven't missed the playoffs since 2019.

  • After trading for Jimmy Butler before the 2020 season, Miami has made the Eastern Conference Finals each year and reached the NBA Finals twice.

Yes, but: Despite a 2023–24 season full of injuries and mediocre play, the Heat were in a similar position last year and survived the Play-In Tournament to reach the NBA Finals.

How it works: Teams in the Eastern and Western conferences are seeded No. 1–10. The six teams with the best record in each conference are guaranteed a playoff spot.

  • Teams seeded No. 7–10 have to play their way in, hence the tournament's name.
  • The Heat (46–36) hold the eighth seed in the East after the NBA regular season officially ended yesterday.

Zoom in: The No. 7 and 8 seeds will play each other, with the winner of that matchup getting the seventh spot in their respective conference. The losing team gets one more chance.

  • The No. 9 and 10 seeds will play each other. The losing team will see its season come to an end and the winner will face the loser of the No. 7 versus No. 8 game.
  • Whichever team wins that final matchup will get the eighth and final spot in their conference playoffs.

How to watch: The play-in games are Tuesday and Wednesday and the playoffs start April 20.

What's next: The Heat will travel to Philadelphia to play the seventh seed 76ers on Wednesday at 7pm on ESPN.


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