How the Heat can make the Playoffs

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How the Heat can make the Playoffs

Postby Andrew on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:41 am

So, there's your standard "everyone wins and loses the right amount of games" scenario:

  • two wins and one loss by Chicago or Indiana
  • one win and two losses by Chicago or Indiana


But another strange and interesting scenario has been identified:

According to Elias, even if the Pacers and Bulls win their last two games, the Heat (39-41) also could make the playoffs if it wins its remaining two games and Milwaukee loses its remaining two games.

Here’s why: If No. 9 Miami and No. 8 Chicago win out and the No. 6 Bucks lose out, all three teams would finish 41-41. The Bucks already have clinched a playoff spot.

But in the head to head matchup among all three teams, Miami had the best record (4-3), with Milwaukee 4-4 and Chicago 3-4.

Per an email from Elias, even though the Bucks already have clinched a playoff berth, that three-team tiebreaker would still be used to resolve a Bucks/Heat/Bulls tie, instead of a two-team Heat/Bulls tiebreaker that would favor Chicago by virtue of its 2-1 season series win against the Heat. As a result, Miami and Milwaukee would be the playoff teams in that scenario.


Definitely an unusual scenario where a team that's clinched a Playoff spot could actually still miss the Playoffs on a sudden need for a tiebreaker. Of course, if this was all a mathematical possibility - which it obviously is - then you'd think that technically speaking, the Bucks can't have clinched yet. In any event, we could see a situation where a team has punched their ticket for the Playoffs, only to have it revoked.
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Re: How the Heat can make the Playoffs

Postby Arcane on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:48 am

Damn crazy scenario here
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Re: How the Heat can make the Playoffs

Postby volsey on Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:56 pm

I always thought clinching a playoff spot meant you've guaranteed your advancement to the playoffs. It's interesting, I just don't know how anyone can say they've clinched anything yet...
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Re: How the Heat can make the Playoffs

Postby Andrew on Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:09 pm

volsey wrote:I always thought clinching a playoff spot meant you've guaranteed your advancement to the playoffs. It's interesting, I just don't know how anyone can say they've clinched anything yet...


That's correct. As such, if there's a possibility that the Bucks can be knocked out of the top eight under certain conditions, then it seems to me they can't have officially clinched yet. The moment that becomes an impossibility then sure, put that X next to their name in the standings. Whatever the likeliest result may be, they are technically still on the bubble right now. Of course, one more win for them can make it a moot point as of their next game against the Hornets.
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Re: How the Heat can make the Playoffs

Postby koberulz on Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:17 pm

Per an email from Elias, even though the Bucks already have clinched a playoff berth, that three-team tiebreaker would still be used to resolve a Bucks/Heat/Bulls tie, instead of a two-team Heat/Bulls tiebreaker that would favor Chicago by virtue of its 2-1 season series win against the Heat. As a result, Miami and Milwaukee would be the playoff teams in that scenario.
Not sure where you're getting 'Milwaukee could miss the playoffs' from?

This sort of thing is a pretty regular occurrence in the NBL - this past season we came within one or two results of a six-way tie for second-seventh (in an eight-team league). You clinched a playoff spot when you had everything, including all possible tiebreakers, and not before. Seven of the eight teams were thus in playoff contention until the last couple of days of the season.
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Re: How the Heat can make the Playoffs

Postby Andrew on Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:35 pm

Oversight, it would seem.
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Re: How the Heat can make the Playoffs

Postby air gordon on Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:47 am

Thank the heavens the bucks won last nite, closing the loophole.

Would have been something out of the movie dogma if the bucks lost out
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