I am confident the Miami Heat will make the playoffs compared to last season when they were on edge, but eventually fell off. Like sand through an hourglass this season, I wait for their opening round opponent. In the process, the final games of the Heat season after a convincing 119-98 win over the New York Knicks is worth the price of admission leading into the playoffs.
Kelly Olynyk finished with 22 points, and a career-high ten assists and the Heat rolled as the Heat has won seven of their last ten games. Miami moved the ball very well. It was evident finding the open man from three-point land, Miami was five for seven from 3-point range in the third, 15 for 34 for the game, and is now only three makes away from the franchise record of 808 set last season.
Olynyk’s previous high for assists was eight, done twice. He scored 52 points, had 16 assists and grabbed 13 rebounds in Miami’s brief two-game homestand, with the Heat winning both outings, last one the double overtime win with the Heat scoring a franchise-best 149 points over the Denver Nuggets.
“We’re just real connected right now on both ends of the floor,” Olynyk said. “Guys are playing well together.”
Led by Olynyk, the Heat bench outscored New York’s 62-28. Wayne Ellington scored 16, Justise Winslow added 15, Goran Dragic had 14, and Josh Richardson finished with 12 for the Heat, who remained seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They’re now 1 1/2 games ahead of No. 8 Milwaukee after the Bucks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Coincidently, Heat President Pat Riley turned 73 the day before the game. New York won seven playoff series in his four years as Knicks coach and has won nine playoff series in the 23 seasons since he left for Miami.
Question, what happened to the Knicks? They are 8-29 on the road this season — and two of those wins were at Brooklyn, which means they’re 6-29 outside of New York.
Miami has ten games remaining on their season schedule. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks on the road. The AmericanAirlines Arena will host the Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors to end the regular season to name a few. Miami can realistically go 5-5 these final games. The Heat can go from their current seventh seed to the third seed winning and based on help.