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The Heat edge that will be neutralized. And NBA scout weighs in on Heat playoff scenarios.

Barry Jackson, Miami Herald on

Published in Basketball

Before a worldwide pandemic brought sports to a halt, the Heat was positioned to achieve one of its preseason goals: homecourt advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

But with the NBA now poised to resume play at a neutral site (the Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando), the fact Miami stands fourth in the East -- two games ahead of No. 5 Indiana and No. 6 Philadelphia -- is moot, from a home-court standpoint.

It also seemingly negates one of the Heat's biggest strengths this season -- its performance at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Keep in mind that among all Eastern Conference playoff teams, the Heat and 76ers had the biggest disparity in home and road records.

Miami was 27-5 at home but 14-19 on the road. The gulf was even greater for the 76ers, who were 29-2 at home, 10-24 on the road.

By contrast, the team between them in the standings -- Indiana -- was 21-11 at home, 18-15 on the road.

 

One of the great unknowns -- and a key determinant in how far Miami goes in postseason -- is whether the Heat's neutral-site play will mirror their road play this season. The Heat must hope that it does not.

But the reality is the Heat's best three young wings -- Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn -- have been substantially better shooters at home.

Nunn is shooting 40.2% on three-pointers at home, 32.6 on the road.

Herro is at 41.9 on three-pointers at home, 36.3 on the road.

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