WQAM

Today, the Miami Heat are headed to the postseason with about 78 percent confidence, according to the latest NBA playoff odds on ESPN.

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At 33-38, the four-time defending Eastern Conference champs are sitting in the East’s seventh seed with some leg room. They have a two-game lead over the Celtics and are two and a half games back of the Bucks, with the latter besting Miami in a whacky finish on Tuesday, defeating 100-to-1 odds in overcoming a 14-point deficit with just over six minutes remaining.

Had Miami won that game, something they would’ve done about 99 out of every 100 times in that scenario, the two would be tied in the loss column and the sixth seed would be more feasible for Erik Spoelstra’s crew.

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The Heat face the first-place Hawks in Atlanta tonight with the status of Dwyane Wade (knee), Hassan Whiteside (hand), and Chris Andersen (everything) in question. Of the teams in the six to 11 spots, the Heat are in the middle of the pack in terms of strength of remaining schedule, according to NBA.com, but face a savage upcoming four-game stretch (@Hawks, Pistons, Spurs, @Cavs) with an injury-plagued roster. The Hawks have the league’s second best record, the Spurs have won 11 of 14 and the Cavs haven’t lost at home since January 7 against the Rockets.

So while the Heat’s playoff odds are strong today it’s not about to get any easier, with a tough slate immediately ahead and the injury bug continuing to thirst away in its season-long assault at Miami’s core.

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Follow Josh on Twitter (@JoshBaumgard)