Interviews-wqam

The Miami Heat aren’t just getting bit by the injury bug, they’re getting devoured, with more players unhealthy than healthy at this point of the season with playoff hopes on the line tonight against the Hornets.

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“They just haven’t had much luck in these last couple of weeks,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix said on 560 WQAM’s Joe Rose Show. “They’re really reeling at the wrong time when teams above them are starting to get some momentum. Indiana getting Paul George back — they’ve won a couple straight including that win over Miami. Boston’s kind of righted the ship in these last couple games. Brooklyn’s playing the best basketball of any team in that mix.”

Although Miami’s playoff odds are favorable, at 43.7 percent (eighth best in the conference) according to ESPN, they’re lottery bound if the season ended today. Sitting at 10th in the Eastern Conference, the Heat (34-43) trail the Pacers (tied) and Celtics (35-42). Some good news is although a handful of players have a questionable status, Miami faces the easiest projected remaining schedule in the NBA. But what that doesn’t take into account is the chance of some teams opting to rest their core players in the final few games.

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“It’s gonna be an uphill battle,” Mannix said. “I think Miami kind of has to run the table if they have any hope of getting in because I think the teams above them are going to win three out of four, three out of five, the rest of the way.”

Below are the remaining schedules for five teams battling for two spots.

Can the Heat power through this final stretch of the season and keep their season alive or will they miss the playoffs after four consecutive years of making it to the NBA Finals?

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