LOS ANGELES – Time for another Miami Heat mailbag.
If you were not able to ask a question this time, send them along for future mailbags via Twitter to @tomdangelo44 and @Anthony_Chiang. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com.
From @bjtripleot: Best first round matchup?
This is a discussion we’ve had around the water cooler for the last few weeks. First, let’s assume Toronto and Boston will finish atop the conference. So if we are talking the best matchup for the Heat figuring they finish seventh or eighth, it appears the Celtics may be more beatable, because of their injury issues. Miami has defeated both teams on the road but it has won 2-of-3 from the Celtics. But Miami would have to deal with one All-Star guard if it faces Boston in Kyrie Irving. Toronto, though, presents a much tougher backcourt challenge with DeMar DeRozan and Lyle Lowry, two All-Stars who are averaging a combined 48.0 points per game against the Heat in the two games this season.
From there, it gets tricky. First, the Heat have to take advantage of their favorable schedule – especially the two week stretch starting in the final week of March – and considering how bunched these teams are, the one team Miami probably does not want to face (and the team I still believe will finish third) is Cleveland. The Cavs will be better when Kevin Love returns and their schedule helps. Otherwise, Miami would love to see a matchup with Milwaukee (not going to happen considering the Bucks will be seventh or eighth) and has proven it can beat any of the other three teams having split the season series with Washington and Philadelphia and winning two against Indiana with one game remaining.
From @Shadow_Knight3: Should Winslow and Richardson consider asking Wade to a possible workout after the season for improvement on their game, and the chances Wade would do something like this?
If all three return – and I believe Wade and Richardson will be back but not so sure about Winslow – look for Wade to be very involved in the offseason, especially working with the younger players.
Winslow, Richardson and Tyler Johnson all admire and look up to Wade having been his teammate before Wade left for Chicago and Wade has talked about all three and how each has grown in the year and a half he was away. He would be a big help in their development.