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The Miami Heat are aiming to avoid the play-in tournament this year after making it to the NBA Finals as a No. 8 seed last season. The team is currently the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 41-33, just one game behind the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers. They are also within striking distance of the third-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers, who are only 3.5 games ahead. With two consecutive wins, the Heat are benefiting from the return of key role players and are looking to secure their playoff spot.

In their final six games of the regular season, the Heat will face several Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls, including the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Indiana Pacers. Miami holds head-to-head tiebreakers over these teams, giving them an advantage if they finish the season with identical records. They will also compete against the Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets, who are on the fringes of the play-in race. The season finale will see the Heat face the Dallas Mavericks in a rematch of past NBA Finals.

Miami has benefited from the return of players like Duncan Robinson and Kevin Love from long-term injuries, which has helped balance out their offense. Coach Erik Spoelstra is adjusting his rotations and lineup decisions as the postseason approaches, emphasizing the need for players to be ready to contribute in any way necessary. Spoelstra, who has been with the Heat since 1997 and as head coach since 2008-09, recently signed an eight-year contract extension worth an estimated $120 million. He has led the team to six NBA Finals appearances and two championships.

The current Heat roster is led by All-Star center Bam Adebayo and All-NBA swingman Jimmy Butler, who have been instrumental in the team’s success in recent years. Miami has reached the Eastern Conference Finals three out of the last four seasons and made two appearances in the NBA Finals. Spoelstra’s coaching has been a key factor in the team’s consistent success and his experience and leadership will be crucial as they make their final push for a playoff berth. As the regular season comes to a close, the Heat are focused on securing their spot in the playoffs and making a deep postseason run.

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