Today will be the third match-up between the Southeast Division leading Miami Heat (30-9) and the Indiana Pacers (23-14) from the Central Division. If you are sitting on the west coast or outside of Miami right now and don’t have the NBA league Pass through Xfinity then let me convince you to get it right here :).
The Indiana Pacers are coming into the game with a 6-4 record in the last 10 games. However, the six wins came against the sub .500 teams in which they played the New Orleans Hornets twice, Charlotte Bobcats twice, Golden State Warriors and New Jersey Nets. The Pacers were blown out by the Chicago Bulls recently and are coming off a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Miami Heat are coming off beating the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday and are setting up for the game at home at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat are 8-2 in the last 10 games in which they had consecutive losses recently to the Utah Jazz and the Los Angles Lakers. The Miami Heat are 17-2 at home with an average margin of victory of 13 points, which leads the NBA. The Heat are averaging 103 PPG at home and allowing only 90 PPG by there opponents.
Quick Game by Game breakdown:
01/04: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat: Final Score 118-93, Miami Win.
For Heat: Dwyane Wade missed the game with an ankle sprain and LeBron James led them with 33 points and 13 assists.
For Pacers: Danny Granger and Paul George were a combined 6 for 24 from the field and David West only played 20 minutes due to foul trouble. The All-Star Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
02/14: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers (Banker Life Fieldhouse): Final Score 105-90, Miami Win.
For Pacers: Danny Granger only played 12 minutes and left early with an ankle sprain. The team overall struggled to find a rhythm and were demolished at home.
For Miami: James scored 23 and Rookie Norris Cole tied his season-high with 20 points. Miami Heat became the first NBA team in 33 years to win three road games in three nights.
Leading in to Today’s Game:
The keys for Indiana to pull out a victory would be to take care of the ball under pressure and make threes. Miami’s defense is designed to take away the paint opportunities and closing out hard to the three point shot. This can leave some shooters with time so the shooters have an opportunity to knock shots down. However, Miami is SO fast it makes it hard for teams to shoot a good percentage which leads to a lot of fast break opportunities for Miami.
IF the Pacers can catch a rhythm against the Heat with their shooters Paul George, Danny Granger and Darren Collison, it could be a very interesting and close game.