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Five Things The Miami Heat Need To Salvage Their Lost Season

The Miami Heat's LeBron-hangover season is about to get really real. The Heat currently cling to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, sitting just a half-game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets, and one-and-a-half games ahead of the tenth-seed Boston Celtics. With 18 games remaining, now is as good a time as ever for the Miami Heat to put on their big boy pants and start playing their best basketball of the year.

This Heat season has been the Monday-morning-alarm-clock-didn't-go-off-spilled-coffee-on-your-crotch-driving of seasons, but there is still ample time for this mix-and-matched roster to put something that resembles a playoff-run together. Stranger things have happened. I think. Maybe they haven't, but let's pretend they have for the sake of keeping hope alive.

First things first if the Heat are to make a little noise in the playoffs this season; they have to actually make the playoffs! Not guaranteed! I know, it's super-weird. Here are a few things that need to fall the Heat's way between now and Tax Day for them to punch their NBA playoffs ticket.

5. Hassan Whiteside needs to channel his anger, and direct it towards basketballs.

Hassan Whiteside is the key to the Miami Heat's 2015 playoff run. If you had written this sentence prior to a few months ago Heat fan would have looked at you like the two-headed woman in the last season of American Horror Story. Whiteside is capable of grabbing 20 rebounds on any given night; but he is also capable of ripping his jersey in half and upper-cutting an opponent two minutes into the game as well. If Whiteside can calm himself, and not be sent to take showers while the game is still happening, the Miami Heat have something almost no one else in the East have: a dominant center.

4. No more capri-pants suits and turtleneck sweaters for Dwyane Wade while the rest of the team is playing.

All the "Dwyane Wade (DNP)" chips are gone; if the Heat are to make anything of this sucky-faced season, Wade has to stay healthy; otherwise it's a wrap. Wade has put up vintage-Wade like numbers the past two games, reminding us all what he is capable of when his knees,hamstrings, neck, chest, toe, shoulder, and migraines allow.

Wade is the key to the Miami Heat's playoff push. That's something we have been saying for over a decade now.

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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi

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