Pacers vs. Heat Links: Wait is over for Game 1 of Eastern Conference Finals

USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference Finals tip off tonight in Miami with both teams rested and ready to go.

Last season the Indiana Pacers outplayed the Miami Heat for two and a half games which wasn't nearly enough to get by the eventual champs. The two teams tip of a new series tonight in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Pacers need to put together four strong performances to stun the NBA world and beat the champs.

Both teams have had more than enough time off to make sure they are physically ready to begin the grind of their third playoff series. If Dwyane Wade's knee is a problem, it won't be in Game 1. The Pacers need to find a way to win one of the first two games in Miami as they did last year.

Easier said than done, but at a minimum the Pacers have to maintain their defensive disposition (and hope the refs have read up on the rule of verticality). They also have to limit the turnovers which will in turn help slow down the Heat transitions freight train that can quickly overwhelm any opponent. Then get Roy Hibbert and David West going around the hoop and the Pacers will be playing their game not Miami's.

No problem.

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers at Heat, Game 1 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Pacers Viewing Parties presented by Budweiser - ECF, Game 1 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Bob Kravitz: Pacers will need more plays like 'The Block' from Roy Hibbert to upset the Heat | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

On The Pulse podcast with Indy Cornrows

From advance scout to Pacers head coach, Frank Vogel's surprising journey | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Pacers’ success surprising even to Walsh - 1070 The Fan

Miami Heat can be beat and LeBron James knows it - NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN

Heat-Pacers Series Preview: Who are the beasts of the East? - CBSSports.com

Bob Kravitz: 3 things I'm curious about before Game 1 | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Ten burning questions for the upcoming Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers series - Grantland

Indiana Pacers’ Paul George embraces larger role - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com

Pacers-Heat Preview - AP

Indiana Pacers buck traditional team-building methods - SBNation.com

Miami Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh brace for Indiana Pacers in NBA Eastern Conference finals. - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

INDIANAPOLIS: Miami Heat guard Norris Cole must disrupt Indiana Pacers guard George Hill - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com

Ball Don’t Lie’s 2012-13 Playoff Previews: Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports

Greg Cote: Drama might not be real, but Miami Heat’s dominance is - Greg Cote - MiamiHerald.com

Chris Bosh-Roy Hibbert matchup could decide Heat-Pacers series - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com

Pacers Playoff Central: LeBron James not afraid to dunk on Roy Hibbert | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Spurs-Grizzlies: Memphis left struggling with lost opportunity - CBS Sports

NBA Draft 2013: Cavaliers will reportedly gauge trade interest with top pick - SBNation.com

Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards poised to make leaps forward after NBA draft lottery | The Point Forward - SI.com

How the lottery lost its cool - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN

NBA Mock Draft: Version 3 - Yahoo! Sports

2013 NBA Mock Draft: In top 10, beauty is in the eye of the beholder - SBNation.com

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