The Miami Heat have been desperately battling for a playoff spot in the East, currently seeded ninth with a record of 40-41 with one more game remaining in the season. For Miami to make the playoffs, they must win the final game of the season against the Washington Wizards and hope that the Chicago Bulls lose to the Brooklyn Nets.

If that scenario does happen, the Heat will make the playoffs with the likelihood of having injured guard Dion Waiters back in the lineup. Waiters have been out the last 12 games with a severe ankle sprain, in which the team has gone 6-6 without him. Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson have picked up the workload with Waiters out, but the former fourth overall pick is still essential to the team’s long-term success.

Although the Heat has won two straight games against playoff opponents, they need Waiters back to compete at a higher level. The 25-year-old has had a productive year, averaging 15.8 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds on nearly 40 percent shooting from three-point distance.

Waiters gives positive news

When asked if he would return during the playoffs, Waiters said, “hell yeah -- even if I have to play on one foot.” That sort of confident response should have the Heat feeling very optimistic, but they must first beat the Wizards in the season finale.

Game against Washington

Miami recently beat Washington on the road, so they are fully capable of winning Wednesday’s game especially if John Wall and Otto Porter Jr. sit out for the Wizards. In Saturday's game against the Wizards, Porter was absent, but Wall played.

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The Heat used 30 points and 12 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside to beat them. Tyler Johnson chipped in 19 points and four rebounds off the bench, and Goran Dragic added 18 points and seven assists. The team will need that kind of effort from those guys at home Wednesday night.

However, the thing that is way out of Miami's control is the Bulls losing to the Nets. Although Chicago lost to Brooklyn a few days ago, they will play the final game at home and will most likely play with the same desperation as the Heat.

Nonetheless, whether the Heat makes the playoffs or not, they have had a rather successful season, as has Dion Waiters. They started the season 11-30 but instantly turned things around mainly because Waiters came back from early-season injuries. If Miami does indeed make the playoffs, they will make history, becoming the first team to make the post-season after an 11-30 start.