Pacers vs. Heat Links: OK, who wants the top seed in the East? Hello? Anyone?

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers and Heat renew acquaintances in Miami on Friday night with heavy playoff implications on the line. Or at least those implications appear heavy.

The Pacers and Heat meet with the top seed in the East on the line and this time, the winner may actually be able to seal the deal with regular season coming to a close next week.

Of course, both teams haven't shown much interest in seizing control of the East since they have both had an opportunity to put away the No. 1 seed for the better part of the month, yet each continues to keep losing at a comparable pace. As Reggie Miller is quoted in this NBA.com preview, the motivation for the top spot doesn't carry the normal urgency due to the standings in the East.

TNT's Reggie Miller knows this rivalry game from the inside out, having spent his entire Hall of Fame career with the Pacers. He knows the politically correct thing for all involved to say is that they want that No. 1 spot, but ...

"Both will say, ‘We want the No. 1 seed.' You always want Game 7 in your building, but when you're the two best teams, you can go on the road and actually get a win. If I'm Miami and I'm looking at the landscape of the Eastern Conference, you get by that first round, you're very well going to play either Chicago or Brooklyn, and Brooklyn has won four straight against Miami this year. I'm not quite sure you don't want to get that No. 2 spot and take a little bit road less traveled to the Eastern Conference finals."

So the silver lining for the loser tonight is clear, but for the Pacers playing well and doing so on the road is extremely important and should be a motivating factor to give Miami their best look. While the Pacers seem to be hurting psychologically, the Heat are hurting physically with Dwyane Wade still trying to return from the hammy he tweaked at BLF while Greg Oden has yet to seen a minute of playing time after Roy Hibbert sent him packing early in their last meeting. But, as I've often said, these teams would want to kill each other in a pickup game at the Baxter Y, so that fact will always make this a compelling matchup.

Also of note in the links, the Pacers agreed to a deal with Indy's Capital Improvement Board (CIB) which will provide the team with $160 million over the next ten years to help with various Fieldhouse maintenance and upgrades. Great news for those of us who love having the NBA in town.

Check out the links:

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

Reserves give Vogel, Pacers much more than a win - 1070 The Fan

Pacers, city reach $160M deal to keep team in Indy - Indy Star

Kravitz: $160 million deal to keep Pacers good for Indy

Starters return to Pacers with lively practice - Indy Star

Indiana Pacers plan to play all five starters Friday at the Miami Heat - ESPN

Pacers-Heat Preview - AP

Indiana Pacers – Phase Two of Frank Vogel’s rest & deploy plan debuts tonight vs. Miami Heat | KentSterling.com

Heat, Pacers and the fight for No. 1 " Hang Time Blog with Sekou Smith | NBA.com

Hobbled Miami Heat searching for health - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com

NBA: Heat concerned with health, not seed, ahead of clash with Pacers - ESPN

Udonis Haslem Breaks Down His 'Rules' for Guarding Players in the Post | Bleacher Report

NBA: LeBron James abdicates MVP throne - ESPN

Heat, Pacers stumble into final meeting - Hot Hot Hoops

Reports: Bulls sign Mike James, Lou Amundson | ProBasketballTalk

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