The league-worst Nets became relevant again in their season-ending loss to Chicago.
The Heat beat the Washington Wizards 110-102 on Wednesday night, but finished No. 9 in the Eastern Conference after Chicago and in won to grab the last two remaining postseason spots.
The Heat (vs. the Washington Wizards) only make the playoffs if they win and either the Pacers or the Heat lose. The Pacers need a win over the Atlanta Hawks, who've already locked up a spot in the playoffs, while the Heat must beat the tough but dilapidated Wizards, and have either the Bulls or Pacers lose.
Others will argue that Atkinson's chief responsibility is to try to win a game that factored heavily in other teams' postseason fate.
One might argue that if you are going to beat the Cavaliers, you want to do it early in the playoffs before they build momentum.
Instead of extending its season, the Heat will have to settle for being known as the team which rallied from the biggest hole in league history to finish.500 or better and only the fourth team in franchise history to win 30 games over the second half of a season.
However, thanks to the Nets and the favorable schedule to close the year for the Bulls, the red-hot Heat may still miss out on postseason action.
While the Bulls have encountered their fair share of struggles throughout the year, they were able to string together some timely wins down the stretch to wedge their way into playoff position.
Another balanced effort: When talking about this Heat team, Erik Spoelstra likes to say the "sum is greater than the parts".
"The mood is good", Hoiberg told the Chicago Sun-Times.
"It means a lot for those fans who were supporting us through the whole season", Dragic said.
The Bulls closed the regular season with seven wins in their last nine games.
NEW YORK - Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points after deciding to play in what could be his final game with the Knicks, and New York beat the Philadelphia 76ers.
Shooting guard Dwyane Wade is expected to play in his third straight game since missing more than three weeks because of a fracture in his right elbow.
The Miami Heat can still find their way into the 2017 National Basketball Association playoff picture because of a tiebreaker scenario.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson defended his decision to rest six players for the team's game at Chicago, saying something about "going into the offseason healthy".
With a 40-41 record, the Chicago Bulls are tied with the Miami Heat for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. But in an embarrassing curiosity, the Nets sat out for rest starters Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez.
Hassan Whiteside finished the season with 24 points and 18 rebounds. "I wish I knew it while it happened". We know it's a group that's going to come out and play extremely hard. Every first-round matchup is set, the only thing left to be determined is whether the Jazz or Clippers will have homecourt advantage when they face off in Round 1. Whether we were playing well, then we were playing bad, whatever the heck was going on, at the end of the day, you want yourself in a position to make the playoffs. "I just look at it as another opportunity for us to get better for next year". There are scenarios where the Heat, Bulls and Pacers all could be No. 7 or No. 8.