And now, they wait.
They wait for an opponent.
They wait for a date.
After sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks with an 88-77 win in Game 4 on Sunday, the Heat won’t play again until Saturday at the earliest, even if the Chicago Bulls beat the Nets in Brooklyn on Monday night to advance. If the Nets rally to take that series to seven games, Miami might not begin its second-round series until Monday, May 6.
The Heat aren’t complaining about that circumstance, not with Dwyane Wade trying to get his sore right knee right and with one of the oldest playing rotations in the NBA.
Still, coach Erik Spoelstra spoke of the need to get rest without rust. Expect him to give the team a day or two off, and then to get back to work Wednesday — especially if Chicago is officially the next opponent.
“The biggest focus for us will be keeping ourselves physically ready,” Spoelstra said. “That’s probably the most abnormal of the circumstances. You are used to playing every 48 hours or so, that’s the NBA rhythm when you get into the playoffs.”
Heat forward Shane Battier had never swept a playoff series, so he wasn’t sure how the team would approach it.
“The next series, whoever it is, is going to be a very, very physical one,” Battier said. “So we better enjoy feeling well for the last time for a long time.”
Miami went 2-2 against Chicago in the regular season and 3-0 against Brooklyn.
Jennings sits: Before the series, guard Brandon Jennings proclaimed that he could see the Bucks winning it in six games.
In Sunday’s fourth quarter, he was watching something else — a Heat sweep.
He was watching that entire quarter from the bench.
Jennings made only 1 of 7 shots in the first three quarters, lowering his shooting accuracy for the series to an anemic 29.8 percent.
“It was one of those decisions that was tough to make,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. “When I took Brandon out and put J.J. (Redick) and Mike (Dunleavy) in, Monta (Ellis) at the point, I just thought our matchups were a little better.”
Miami outscored Milwaukee 21-15 in the fourth.
Boylan, who replaced Scott Skiles during the season, might not be back for 2013-14, and Jennings (restricted free agent), Ellis (player option) and Redick (unrestricted free agent) could all be playing elsewhere.
Noteworthy: Trainers worked on Heat guard Mario Chalmers’ hip following a collision, but later he said it’s not a concern.