This weekend marks the fifth straight Sunday in which the NBA will play in primetime in India. You can catch the action this Sunday at 9:30pm IST on Ten 1 and Ten 3.
- March 10: Pistons def. Bulls
- March 17: Lakers def. Knicks
- March 24: Clippers def. Knicks
- March 31: Hawks def. Bucks
- April 7: Heat at Raptors
The final season of Dwyane Wade's Hall of Fame career is coming to an end as the Miami Heat play their third-to-last game of the regular season. But with the Heat in the thick of the race for the final playoff spot in the East, there's plenty on the line beyond the D-Wade spotlight.
Here are some of the bigger storylines to look out for!
Will the Heat make the playoffs?
Entering the final week of the regular season, the Heat are in a tight race to make the playoffs.
|6. Brooklyn Nets||40-40||.500||+1.5|
|7. Orlando Magic||40-40||.500||+1.5|
|8. Detroit Pistons||39-40||.494||+1.0|
|9. Miami Heat||38-41||.481||-|
Should any two teams be tied at the end of the regular season, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record. Here is how Miami has fared against the other contenders this season:
- Detroit: teams split 2-2
- Brooklyn: Heat lead series 2-1 (one more meeting)
- Orlando: Magic won season series 3-1
MORE: What are the NBA playoff tiebreaker rules?
If the Heat and Magic are tied for the final spot, the tie will go to Orlando thanks to the head-to-head record.
If the Heat are tied with either the Pistons or Nets, the next tiebreaker after head-to-head is record in conference games since none of them are in the same division. Both the Pistons and Nets hold the edge in conference W-L.
Given the Pistons and Heat have already completed their season series, the Pistons will own the tiebreaker.
The Heat and Nets play on the final day of the regular season in a game that could decide either the eighth and final spot or potentially seeding for either the 6-seed or 7-seed.
In other words ... the race for the final playoff spots in the East is coming down to the wire!
#OneLastDance - Who gets D-Wade's jersey?
One of the most memorable parts of Wade's final season has been the ceremonial exchanging of jerseys. At the end of each game, the future Hall of Famer has swapped jerseys with an opposing player.
MORE: All of the D-Wade jersey swaps
Who will get the jersey this time around? Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green both endured NBA Finals matchups against Wade back in 2013 and 2014. Kyle Lowry has been an Eastern Conference All-Star alongside Wade for a long time and has played against him 29 total times, including a memorable seven-game series in the 2016 playoffs. It could even be Serge Ibaka, who was a member of the 2011-12 Oklahoma City Thunder team that Wade beat in the Finals in 2012 to win his second NBA title and first alongside LeBron James.
Two of the most memorable swaps have been with LeBron James and Chris Paul, two of Wade's closest friends and future Hall of Famers.
Legends!#OneLastDance#ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/AhTLEYeby0- NBA (@NBA) December 11, 2018
3⃣ ✖️ 3⃣ #OneLastDance pic.twitter.com/KnTtzy7tT1- NBA (@NBA) March 1, 2019
Raptors are a legit Finals contender
Of course with all of the attention on Wade and the Heat playoff push, don't forget about the Toronto Raptors, who have locked in the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference and are legitimate threats to reach the NBA Finals.
Here are three of the biggest reasons why the Raptors are contenders:
1) Kawhi Leonard: In addition to averaging career highs in points and rebounds, Leonard is well rested for a deep postseason run as the Raptors have managed his minutes following last season in which he played in only nine games due to a lingering quad injury. When healthy, Leonard is one of the NBA's best players and capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone.
2) Pascal Siakam: The third-year forward is a strong contender for Most Improved Player and has been one of the NBA's biggest breakout stars. A versatile two-way player that can guard all five positions and plays harder than almost anyone, Siakam's emergence as a threat alongside Leonard and fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry gives the Raptors three legitimate players who can single-handedly take over a playoff game while playing nearly any style.
3) Veteran depth: Alongside Leonard, Siakam and Lowry, the Raptors are stabilized by a deep and experienced roster that includes the likes of Danny Green, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, among others. Among the top six teams in either conference, the only roster with more Conference Finals experience is the Golden State Warriors.
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