Heat and Timberwolves Make the Playoffs, Bulls and Thunder Go Home

The final night of the Play-In tournament decided the last 2 teams to make the 2023 NBA Playoffs. and the final scores weren’t as exciting and close as we expected them to be. Still, it was an interesting NBA night and the last two games ahead of the start of the Playoffs.

The Heat Send the Bulls to Vacation, Clinch the 8th Seed In the East

The Miami Heat clinched the last playoff spot in the East with a scrappy 102-91 win at home vs the Chicago Bulls. Miami built an 8-point lead after the first quarter but then they scored only 38 points in the next two periods and at the start of the fourth, the teams were neck-and-neck with Chicago a point in front.

The game remained hotly contested until the final 5 minutes when Miami exploded for a 15-1 run to steal the win. The main difference come clutch time was that DeRozan and LaVine continued to miss shots for the Bulls. At the other end Butler and Strus, both finished with 31 points each, were knocking theirs down consistently. It was scrappy, it was messy, and it hardly impressed anyone, but ultimately the Heat made the playoffs again while Chicago’s players can now hit the nightclubs of Miami without worrying too much about tomorrow.

What Miami did was win but they failed to impress. It was their defence that got them over the line in the end with Bam Adebayo finally showing dominance in the post where he out-rebounded Vucevic 17-9. Butler was his usual self come decisive matches, but the real difference-maker was Strus with his 7 trees and 8-8 free throws.

Miami look tired and old team right now but they found a way to at least save face by reaching the playoffs. Of course, they are not given any real chance against the best team in the league and the main title favourites the Bucks. Still, Miami are an experienced bunch of players and they could prove to be awkward to play against if they are locked in defensively.

The Bulls, well just like their entire season, failed to show consistency. Awful shooting night for both DeRozen (9-19) and LaVine (6-21 and 0-6 from 3) literally left Chicago without a chance come the decisive 4th quarter.

Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
Photo by Icon Sport

The Wolves Dominate the Young Thunder Team to Schedule Series with Denver

In the Western Conference, the Timberwolves shook off the disappointment from their overtime loss and commandingly secured the 8th spot with a 120-95 home win vs Thunder. The OKC simply had no answer for Karl Anthony-Towns in this match and they lost all 4 quarters. KAT finished with 28 points in just 29 minutes on the court, while the returning after suspension Gobert also played well in the post and he had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The T-wolves certainly made the most of their size advantage in this game and Thunder never really found a way to dominate in the paint. By the end of the game the Wolves had a 58-30 points advantage in the paint and 3 players with double doubles, Edwards joined the twin-towers Gobert-KAT with his 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Thunder’s young team won’t be too disappointed and they will certainly come back next season looking even better. For the T-wolves the season continues and they will actually feel pretty good about themselves ahead of the start of their playoff series vs Denver Nuggets. Gobert and KAT will be key factors again and if they find a way to slow down Jokic then Minnesota’s hopefuls can see some wins.

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About the author


Iskra had a promising, at least she believed so, tennis and volleyball careers as a junior but a series of injuries ended her hopes to become a professional athlete very early.

Instead, she focused all her energy on her other passion, writing. For over a decade, Iskra had been a freelance sports writer. Football, basketball and tennis are the main fields of her expertise.