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Heat May Be Better Off Losing Their Final Game

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PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat head into game 82 of their 2014-15 schedule on Wednesday night, but the game holds a different kind of meaning than what the team has gotten used over the past decade or so.

The Heat face the Sixers in a game that features two teams who will not be playing in the NBA Playoffs.

For Philly that was expected.  For Miami it was not.

Since Heat co-captains Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem joined the team in 2003 Miami has missed the playoffs just once before this year.

Though Wednesday's game holds no postseason implications, it will have an impact on this June's NBA Draft.

More specifically, on the NBA Draft Lottery.

Since neither team will qualify for the postseason, the focus shifts to the offseason and the draft.

With that being the case, a loss will do more for one of the teams than a win, especially Miami.

The only way the Heat will keep their 2015 1st round pick is if it's in the top 10.

At the moment, Miami holds the number 10 lottery seed which gives them a 91 percent chance of keeping the 10th pick.

A Heat win, combined with a Nets loss, would put the two teams in a tie for the 10th and 11th lottery seeds.  That would mean that a random drawing would be held to see which team gets which seed.

Should Miami fall into that situation and lose the random drawing, the Heat's chances to retain their pick would fall to just over 3 percent.

If the Heat's pick ends up falling outside of the top 10, the team that would claim the pick is Philadelphia.

Philly also has their own pick to worry about.  Currently they hold the number 3 lottery seed but can move into a tie for 2nd with a loss to the Heat combined with a Knicks win over the Pistons.

The higher Philadelphia's lottery seed, the better their chances of landing the 1st overall pick in the draft.

So a lot is on the line in tonight's Heat-Sixers contest, with the loser actually coming out as a winner in regard to this summer's draft.

What that means for the game is that it could be a bit of an ugly one.

Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)


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