Spoelstra expects wild ride in Eastern Conference playoff race

Miami hosts Houston on Wednesday

By David Lang - Executive Producer

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra addresses reporters ahead of Miami's game against Houston

MIAMI - Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride in the Eastern Conference.

The Miami Heat have dropped four straight games.

In the process, they have fallen from having a shot at the No. 3 seed in the East to No. 7.

Before facing the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra addressed the roller coaster of the playoff race.

Spoelstra said: "Just seven days ago we had an opportunity to play for third and now all of a sudden we're in seventh.  But that's going to be the story I think for the next two months for everybody in the East.  I think it's fun.  I think it's great for competition.  I think it's great for TV and viewership and fans going down the stretch... It's awesome for the players."

The Heat have a tough four-game stretch before the All-Star break.

After playing Houston, the Heat host the Bucks on Friday night.

Miami wraps up the first half of the season with games at Toronto and Philadelphia.

Guard Goran Dragic said, "The mood is good because we understand that it's a long season.  There's going to be ups and downs.  We're trying to get on the right track right away.  We're practicing hard, trying to correct those mistakes that we're doing in the games."

Tip time on Wednesday night at the America Airlines Arena is 7:30 p.m.

To make matters even more interesting, the NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m.

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