NBA

Miami Heat have given up hope of claiming top seed in the East

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It looks like the Miami Heat have given up hope of usurping the Indiana Pacers in the race for top spot (and top seed) in the Eastern Conference.

According to ESPN's Heat Index, head coach Erik Spoelstra is set to rest a number of his star players for the team's final two games of the regular season.

This despite the fact that the Heat could still finish top of the East, and claim that crucial no.1 seed, if results go their way this week.

And, while LeBron James and Chris Bosh refused to concede defeat with two games still left to play they did admit that fatigue plays a part at this stage of the season:

"Some of my teammates, obviously, they look at me and say, 'You may need to get a couple of games (off), man'," said James.

And Bosh spoke of the hard work required to get the team into a strong position this campaign:

"It's been a hell of a grind this year.

You just have to hang in there and do what you're supposed to do. It's been relentless and brutal."

Miami currently lie second in the East with a 54-26 record, with the Pacers (55-26) leading the way after a crucial 102-97 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday.

Claiming number one seed could prove decisive come the latter stages of the NBA playoffs with many predicting a Heat-Pacers showdown in the Conference final.

Whoever finishes top of the East has the benefit of a fourth home game in the final series should it be required.

Topics:
Indiana Pacers
NBA
Miami Heat

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