The Heat have no reason to fear any team in the Eastern Conference.
I’m not worried about that. We’re not worried about it. We don’t need victories versus top four teams to prove what we’re capable of doing. We don’t need ‘em. We’d love to have ‘em, but we don’t need ‘em.
Since then, the Heat lapped all of those squads in the standings.
Still, the real season—the postseason—starts in roughly two weeks, and Miami will need to beat back the best of the East again.
So which players are the most worrisome?
Well, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford has had his moments against Miami this season, averaging 17.3 points on 60.8 percent shooting.
And Boston Celtics stalwarts Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce won't go easily, if either is still reasonably healthy by the time the teams would meet—which, if Boston stays in the No. 7 seed, wouldn't be until the Eastern Conference Finals.
But here are the five most likely to pothole the Heat's path to the NBA Finals.
All quotes in this piece, unless attributed otherwise, were collected over the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post. All statistics were accurate as of Thursday morning.