That can play into the Pacer favor, since that first game at home after a long trip often produces a flat performance from the home team. Something about comforts of home combined with catching up with things left on hold while out of town serves as a distraction the home team has to overcome to play well.
Fortunately for the Heat, they have Dwyane Wade who can carry them if need be. Plus, they finished the trip with a 3-3 record including a loss at Oklahoma City in their last game, so the Heat won't exactly be sitting home fat and happy after that performance.
The good news for the Pacers is that the weather in Indy continues churning out temperatures in the mid-30's and at last look, Miami will offer a little sunshine and temps in the mid to upper 70's. Hopefully the warmth will make its way to the shooting touch of the blue and gold, since they left a frigid 6 of 29 effort from 3-land at the Fieldhouse this past Saturday night. This after shooting the lights out a night earlier in New Jersey.
The poor perimeter shooting on Saturday combined with an atrocious effort on the glass, negated a great effort from Roy Hibbert in the post again showing the Pacers thin margin of error. Against a good team, if they're firing on all cylinders winning is no surprise. But struggle on the perimeter or in the post and things get dicey. Lose the battle of little things with turnovers or on the glass or at the free throw line and a loss surely follows.
In two earlier losses to the Heat this year, the Pacers shooting percentage has been in the low 30's, so hopefully that South Beach warmth will put the Pacers' shooters back in rhythm and get this tricky little road trip off to a good start.
After the jump, a few links of interest including just where the Pacers expectations for Brandon Rush currently stand.
Wondering about Rush
Mike Wells reports on just what the Pacers expect from Brandon Rush these days since his offensive production is all over the map. I think this was explicitly written to push ThirtyOne over the edge, but at least Jim O'Brien seems resigned to what he can count on from Rush. "When he's on, we're happy, and if he's not, then we just go with somebody else or realize he might be defending at a high level and rebounding at a high level and hope there's more than one way to help the team win," O'Brien said. "It's not just shooting the basketball. He can defend and rebound and hopefully run the court. He knows that he has the green light."
Watson just can't stop giving assists
Bruno's Caught in the Web Daily focuses on Earl Watson's Sunday spent offering a helping hand to a local family in need.
The Steals of the Draft
Rookie point guards Darren Collison and A.J. Price have a lot in common, including the fact that both could be considered the steals of the 2009 draft. Joel Brigham includes Price among the evidence that this draft was pretty deep at point guard.