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LeBron James and Chris Bosh out Monday; Heat concede No.1 seed?

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

LeBron James and Chris Bosh are out Monday.  (USATSI)
LeBron James and Chris Bosh are out Monday. (USATSI)

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The Miami Heat effectively conceded the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference to the Indiana Pacers Monday, pending the results of Monday night's game vs. the Wizards. The Pacers' magic number is one; a win by Washington over the Heat clinches home court throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs for Indiana. Miami could still put pressure by winning Monday and forcing Indiana to beat Orlando Wednesday.

But to do it, they'll have to find a way to win without LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

The Heat can still beat the Wizards without James and Bosh, especially if Dwyane Wade plays. But the Wizards are fighting for the No. 6 seed and to avoid the Heat in the first round. They have a lot more to play for.

The move also allows the Heat a psychological advantage should the Wizards win. Miami is practically surrendering the seed to Indiana, despite the Pacers controlling their own destiny.

The NBA playoffs begin Saturday.

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