Miami Heat's path to the NBA title

The Miami Heat clinched the Southeast Division title and can finish no worse than the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. While that may not seem like a big deal it is. If the Heat want any chance of winning the NBA title, history says they need to be a No. 3 seed or better.

NBA Champions By Seed Since 1995

It could be a big storyline to watch down the stretch, as every NBA champion since 1996 has been a No. 1, 2 or 3 seed in their conference. The last team to win the title having been seeded outside the top 3? The 1994-95 Houston Rockets (6 seed).

In the NBA’s modern era (since 1976-77), no Eastern Conference team has ever won the championship when seeded worse than third.

With all the anticipation of the Heat’s title chances before the season, this is a crucial step for Miami if it wants a realistic chance at claiming the crown.