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Heat leaves higher math for others as they await NBA qualifying round opponent (as Nets loom) – The Denver Post

Erik Spoelstra leaves superior mathematics to others. Tyler Herro is keeping tabs on the Brooklyn Nets. And Bam Adebayo is already studying.

The Miami Heat not only have to wait until after games on Sunday to see how the NBA qualifying round will be ranked, but then wait for this postseason preliminary tournament to end on Friday before learning their first-round opponent for his playoffs. opening next Sunday at the FTX Arena.

The Heat will face whichever of the four play teams come out of this round with the No. 8 seed, with the Nets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets or Cleveland Cavaliers as their first-round opponent.

“I was never good at math,” Spoelstra said with a smile. “And I asked everyone to explain all the scenarios. That’s when you’ll lose me in 30 seconds.

The Heat close their schedule Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. Games at 3:30 p.m. Sunday involving the Nets, Hawks, Hornets and Cavaliers will determine seeding for the qualifying round.

“All the other trigonometry is for everybody,” Spoelstra said of Sunday’s equation for numbers 7 through 10 in the Eastern Conference. “It will unfold as it is supposed to unfold. This confuses me.

Most eyes are on the Nets now that even unvaccinated Kyrie Irving has been cleared to appear in all games, giving Brooklyn a formidable 1-2 punch alongside Kevin Durant.

“I know how it works,” Herro said. “I don’t pay too much attention to it. Obviously, Brooklyn is the team we’re watching, see who they’ll be up against. I mean, whoever we face in the first round, that’s what it is.

Kyle Lowry agrees.

“Any team we play against would be a challenge,” said the veteran point guard. “It’s the playoffs. There are reasons why they are in the playoffs. So whoever we’re up against, we know they’re going to give our all, we’re going to play our best.

“But who we are up against, we have to go out there and keep doing our job, whatever it is. It won’t be easy at all. »

This makes Adebayo already go to school.

“I watch. I watch a movie,” he said. “I watch guys’ tendencies, I read plays, I see how they play in transition, how they play in certain patterns. So I pay attention. »

But also don’t get caught up in seeding permutations.

“I mean, in the playoffs, you can’t run, anyway, in my opinion,” he said. “So you can’t try to dodge someone. If you win this match, you have to play them in the next round or the next round. It’s like you have to face it.

“So, you know, I don’t feel like anyone here is running from anything.”

Of the 16 possible permutations of Sunday’s games involving the Nets, Hawks, Hornets and Cavaliers, Brooklyn would be positioned to play for the No. 7 seed in all but two.

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