During his pregame news conference prior to the Heat's game against the Bobcats, an intense Eric Spoelstra said it was "code red now" for his team and that the Heat needed to treat its next four games (including yesterday's win against the Bobcats) like playoff games.
"The way we’re treating the four games is equivalent to a four-game series,” Spoelstra said. “It’s time. It’s time for us to respond. It’s code red now; that’s how we have to treat it."
The Heat are currently tied with the Boston Celtics for the second seed in the Eastern Conference, with the winner of Sunday's huge game sole owner of the second seed. Boston by virtue of its current 3-0 regular season record against Miami owns the tie-breaker regardless of the outcome of the game tomorrow. Consequently, Miami needs to finish the season with a better overall record than Boston to win the seed.
This is just one of the reasons why the Heat need to win its final three games of the season. I assess this and three other reasons why, for Miami, the playoffs have already begun.