Erik Spoelstra leaves the higher mathematics to others. Tyler Herro keeps tabs on the Brooklyn Nets. And Bam Adebayo is already studying ahead.
Not only will the Miami Heat have to wait until the conclusion of Sunday’s games to see how the NBA play-in round is seeded, but then they’ll have to wait for the conclusion of this preliminary postseason tournament on Friday before finding their first-round opponent for their playoffs kick-off next Sunday in the FTX Arena.
The Heat will meet whichever of the four play-in teams leaves this round with the number 8, with the Nets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, or Cleveland Cavaliers being their first-round opponents.
“I was never good at math,” Spoelstra said with a smile. “And I had everyone explain all the scenarios. Then you lose me in 30 seconds.”
The Heat finish their schedule Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. games with the Nets, Hawks, Hornets and Cavaliers determine the seeding for the play-in round.
“All the other trigonometry, that’s for everyone else,” Spoelstra said of Sunday’s equation for the Nos. 7-10 in the Eastern Conference. “It’s going to go the way it’s supposed to go. That just confuses me.”
Most eyes are on the nets after Kyrie Irving, while unvaccinated, was cleared for all games, giving Brooklyn an impressive 2-1 alongside Kevin Durant.
“I know how it works,” Herro said. “I don’t pay much attention to it. Obviously, Brooklyn is the team we’re looking at to see who they’ll be up against. I mean who we play in the first round, it is what it is.”
Kyle Lowry agrees.
“Any team that we would possibly play against would be a challenge,” said the veteran point guard. “It’s the playoffs. There’s a reason they’re in the playoffs. So we know whoever we’re up against, we know he’s going to give it our all, we’re going to do our best.
“But whoever we’re up against, we have to go out there and still do our job, no matter what it is. It will be anything but easy.”
Adebayo let that go to school.
“I watch. I watch a movie,” he said. “I look at guys’ tendencies, read plays, see how they play in transition, how they play according to certain patterns. So I pay attention.”
But also not to get caught up in the seeding permutations.
“I mean, I don’t think you can run in the playoffs anyway,” he said. “So you can’t try to duck someone. If you win this matchup, you must play them in the next round or the round after. It’s like you have to deal with it.
“Well, you know, I don’t feel like anyone here is running from anything.”
Of the 16 possible permutations from Sunday’s games involving the Nets, Hawks, Hornets and Cavaliers, Brooklyn would play for the No. 7 in all but two positions.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/09/heat-leaving-higher-math-to-others-as-they-await-opponent-from-nba-play-in-round-as-nets-loom/ Heat leaves the higher math to others while waiting for NBA warm-up opponent (as the nets emerge) – The Mercury News