Miami Heat: Ranking favorability of prospective playoff opponents

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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

With the NBA season resuming and the Miami Heat being close to clinching a postseason berth, let’s rank their possible playoff opponents by favorability.

The Miami Heat will continue their championship pursuit when – or rather, if – the NBA resumes play on July 30th at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World.

The Heat could have clinched a playoff berth by defeating the Charlotte Hornets in their last pre-hiatus game. Miami’s ticket to the postseason is standing by in a ticket puncher, ready to be validated for a spot.

With eight games to be played before the playoffs start, Miami’s standing at the fourth seed isn’t guaranteed. Two teams sit two games behind the Heat in the standings and the Heat sits just 2.5 games out from the third seed.

When we last left off with the NBA, the Heat was riding a meager 7-7 record since adding more defensive reinforcements, namely three-time champion Andre Iguodala, at the trade deadline. The Heat have been skidding since well before that, posting a record of 17-15 in the 2020 portion of the season after going 24-9 in the 2019 portion.

Still, should the 2019-20 season resume, Miami is primed to lock up a postseason bid and has some time to build chemistry with the newcomers. While the new blood probably won’t completely revamp Miami’s deteriorating defense, it should prove to be useful in the playoffs.

Eight other Eastern Conference squads will continue their pursuits of a title. Some would most likely be an easy obstacle to clear in a playoff series. Others would be a daunting opponent.

There are four tiers of difficulty for Miami’s potential opponents. Here they are, organized from easiest to hardest.

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