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Game Thread #49: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat

21-27 37-14
February 8, 2011 - 7:30PM EST
AmericanAirlines Arena
Radio: 93.1FM WIBC TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Darren Collison PG Mario Chalmers
Mike Dunleavy SG Dwyane Wade
Danny Granger SF LeBron James
Josh McRoberts PF Chris Bosh
Roy Hibbert C Zydrunas Ilgauskas

The Indiana Pacers will put their recently improved play to the test tonight when they visit the motivated Miami Heat.

The Pacers had one of their best wins of the season back in November when they stymied the Heat on their home court. That game also went down as one of the worst losses on the season for the Heat and possibly the worst offensive game of Dwyane Wade's career.

The Heat have been taking great pleasure in avenging slights and previous losses, so I assume D-Wade will get the chance to carry the load tonight and make up for that November showing.

The Pacers have won four games in a row, so their playing with a little pile of house money in this one, but they certainly don't need a humiliating loss that sends them into a soul-searching tailspin with some other key games on the schedule this week.

I certainly expect the Pacers to continue battling and showing the effort they have in the improved play they've displayed over the past four games. Those wins have been denigrated by some nationally because of the opponents and I understand that, but there's no denying they have played better, especially in the last two games. Yes, Portland is dealing with some injuries but the Pacers pounded the Blazers in the same week Portland beat San Antonio and Chicago.

Tonight, though, the Pacers are dealing with an entirely different beast. Can't wait to see how they deal with the initial onslaught I expect the Heat to throw at the Pacers. It should also be interesting to see if Frank Vogel tweaks his starting lineup to add a more athletic wing to guard Dwyane Wade to begin the game.

Here is the preview.

For a Miami perspective, check out Peninsula is Mightier.

Leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.