With sports slowly starting to return around the world, The NBA continues to discuss the way they plan to return. The biggest change the league is considering is adopting a 1-16 playoff format. This would essentially eliminate conferences. In this scenario the Miami Heat would have the eight seed and would take on the nine seed Oklahoma City Thunder. Lets take a look at a potential Heat vs Thunder playoff matchup.
This would be interesting as you’d get matchups you’d never see before. The games will most likely be played in Orlando as Disney’s worldwide sports complex will host the playoffs. Las Vegas has also been mentioned as a possibility but as of now Orlando is the front runner. If the NBA stuck to their normal format, we would see the Heat matchup with the Indiana Pacers.
A matchup with the Thunder seems more favorable in my opinion, although neither matchup will be a breeze. The Thunder have a nice mix of up and coming superstars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with solid veterans who are still playing good ball such as Chris Paul. With the extended period of rest expect fresh legs of veterans like Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, and Jimmy Butler. A hard fought, competitive series is what I expect if these two teams meet. My best prediction would be the Heat advancing in either six or seven games if matched up with Oklahoma City.
I think it’s a nice twist the NBA can put to an already strange season to experiment with the format to see if it’s a change the NBA permanently adapts. Overall it’s gonna be extremely interesting to see how this situation plays out. The NBA is usually at the forefront of being innovative compared to other major sports league. No matter what happens im excited for Miami Heat basketball to finally be back.
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