Now that the seeding games are over, it is time to get real. 4 Best of 7 rounds of the 16 best NBA teams this season. One champion. Miami will match up with probably their most prominent rival in the 1st round – the Indiana Pacers. Where it seems the Jimmy and TJ beef is over as said by Jimmy it is not really over. It can only end when one wins this series. I don’t see the two being stupid and going out of their way to jeopardize their team in a playoff series. However, the intensity levels will rise as this is the NBA playoffs after all.
Miami Won the Season Series 3-1
Miami won both games pre-bubble. Two exciting games those were. One that included a Goran Dragic runner to win it and of course the famous Jimmy-TJ Warren fued. Miami sound-idly took the 1st game against Indiana in the bubble 114-92 after a rematch that was almost 8 months in the works. Indiana dominated the final game 109-92, however Miami rested up to get ready for this 4v5 matchup in the 1st round of the playoffs.
The TJ/Jimmy Beef Seems to be Over
And for good measure. They are both competitors and know there is more to this season than “he can’t guard me”. And, it is perfect this is a 1st round matchup. Because whether the beef is over or not you can settle it by who wins the series. TJ Warren is questionable to play in Game 1, but I think after missing 4+ months of basketball and finally getting to the playoffs an ankle injury will not stop him. This series should be high intensity and basketball fans are excited to see who will come up on top.
Can DJJ Actually Make a Return?
While I don’ think we see him in this first round it is not entirely out of the picture. Ira Winderman and who covers the Miami Heat for South Florida Sun Sentinel reported this: “Derrick Jones Jr. (neck) listed as questionable for Tuesday). After being taken off on a stretcher in Friday’s game this is amazing news. I still expect the Heat organization to take it slow with him as it was a very scary fall. However, if he recovers and the doctors and organization clear him there could be a real possibility we see him later on in this round.
Will be Miami Be Healthy?
Only time will tell if Miami is healthy. Jimmy missed some time earlier in the seeding games as did Dragic. However, both came back after their injuries during the seeding games. Bam and Jae Crowder have been nursing minor injuries, yet both are off the injury report and ready to ball this series. Miami’s depth has been a major win for them all year and in the playoffs is when depth is tested the most. The question is, Will injuries stall this or is Miami perfectly healthy to get after things? Like I said, only time and the games will tell.
Who Will Ultimately Meet the Bucks in Round 2
Barring a major upset, I don’t know if there is a person in the world who thinks the Magic will actually beat the Bucks. With that being said will it be the Pacers or Heat to meet them in round 2? This season Miami was 2-1 vs the Bucks where as Indiana was 1-3. Miami could have went 0-3 but struggled heavily in the 2nd half of their bubble seeding game against them. Still, many believe Miami poses the bigger threat to Milwaukee than do the Pacers. I see the Heat vs Pacers series going no more than 6 games, with it realistically being a 4-1, maybe 4-2 in favor of the Heat. Other than that each game should realistically be competitive with Miami’s experience and star factor being just a little to much for a good Indiana Pacers team that is without their all-star Domantas Sabonis.
NBA Playoffs should be crazy. No home court, no fans, strictly basketball. The better team should win each series and this is where team chemistry as well as skill truly shows.
Look out for Miami Heat game recaps the day after each game from one of our fine Miami Heat reporters. Hopefully this could be one of four series preview for the playoffs.
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