The only way Tuesday night counted as a possible playoff preview: 10 players on the court, five wearing Heat jerseys and five wearing Milwaukee’s red-and-white jerseys that should have come with a pep band playing On Wisconsin from section 105. So, Tuesday’s 94-83 Heat win counted as one for the record-keepers. Though their aim wasn’t true most of the night, this season’s Heat model tied the franchise record of 61 wins in a season, set by the 1996-97 Heat, the winners of Heat-Knicks I and Eastern Conference final losers to eventual NBA champion Chicago. If the Heat wins Wednesday in Washington or Western Conference leader San Antonio loses, it will clinch the No. 1 overall seed and home-court advantage as long as it’s in this year’s NBA playoffs. “It’s nice. It’s not everything,” Heat forward Shane Battier said. “Our mind-set last year was “Anyone, Anywhere.” I think that’s best mind-set going into the playoffs. But it was nice having that Game 7 against Boston [in the Eastern Conference final] at home, in retrospect.” Otherwise, well, the tone was set for this game when the players voted Battier jump the opening tap against Milwaukee’s 6-11 Larry Sanders. The Heat didn’t have Chris Bosh (flu, doubtful for Wednesday night’s game in Washington) and Dwyane Wade (knee). In their absence, eight Heat players, about the number that would get into a playoff game at all, played at least 20 minutes, and point guard Norris Cole played 19:36. Ten players scored. Udonis Haslem pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. “We needed him to be a presence on the glass tonight. He’s doing it from the center position,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Heat ties franchise record with 61st win
Miami Herald | Apr 10