The Ultimate 2014 NBA Playoffs Race Guide: Heat, Pacers Battle for East No. 1

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Bad March for Miami continues. They are below 0.500 for the month (7-8 win loss record). Reuters

With less than 10 games to go for most teams, this is indeed the stretch run in the NBA regular season. A lot of things are still unsettled however as teams play for positioning and for those right at the bubble of the playoff picture, a loss or two could very well boot them out of contention for top eight in either conferences.

READ ALSO: The Ultimate 2014 NBA Playoffs Race Guide: Spurs Ready to Clinch No. 1 in League, Thunder to Challenge

Here’s a quick look at the scenarios at the top of the East:

Battle for the East’s Top Spot

1. Miami Heat (52-22) 2. Indiana Pacers (53-23)

Both the Heat and Pacers actually struggled for most of the month of March. While Miami sort of recovered, Indiana continued their downward spiral giving up the top seed to Miami last Tuesday. At the end of the Wednesday games, Indiana has actually tied the Heat at the top although Miami has more games left and has less in the loss column.

If the Heat win out the rest of the regular season, then they get the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage over the Pacers when they meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Games Left:

Miami Heat (5 home, 3 away) - MIN, NYK, BKN, @MEM, IND, @ATL, @WAS, PHI  Indiana Pacers (2 home, 4 away) - @TOR, ATL, @MIL, @MIA, OKC, @ORL

The good news for Indiana fans is that they are facing two scrub teams in the Bucks and Magic. The bad news is that they also have two title contenders on tap: the Thunder and the Heat. Goes without saying that the match-up with their Eastern rivals could very well decide who takes over the top spot before the start of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

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