Talk before the season suggested that the Miami Heat might be able to challenge the 1995/96 72-10 Chicago Bulls' record for most wins in a season. That ship officially sailed 11 losses ago. Instead, the Heat can console themselves with this fact: their 94-88 win over the Los Angeles Lakers officially clinched them a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Heat's win pushed them to 44-21 on the year, which puts them 17 and a half games ahead of ninth-place Charlotte. The Heat have just 17 games remaining, which means they will be in the playoffs. Where they will be remains to be seen, but the most likely guess is anywhere between first and third. The Heat are currently in third place in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games behind first-place Boston and two games behind second-place Chicago, who owns the tiebreaker over the Heat after sweeping them in head-to-head matchups.
It's a very low threshold for Heat fans that were expecting more, but to win the title, you have to make the playoffs first, so it's something.