The Indiana Pacers don't have to worry about overwhelming expectations heading into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Miami Heat. Few NBA observers outside the 317 give the Pacers much of a chance, but the team usually embraces their role as an underdog. Although Paul George may have gone a bit far saying the Pacers would be underdogs if they played the Bobcats.
So while the pressure may be on the Heat as favorites, the Pacers do have to play every game with a sense of urgency and work to put themselves in position to win in the fourth quarter. That means avoiding a knock out run by the Heat, something that requires taking care of the ball and playing stout defense without fouling excessively.
Of course, LeBron can just go otherworldly and throw out all of the X factors for both teams. Not to mention, the Heat have been rolling for months. On Feb. 1, the Pacer beat the Heat at the Fieldhouse. The Heat then rattled off 27 straight Ws and have only lost three game since, compiling a 45-3 record to date. Not bad.
Regardless, this is gonna be a blast.
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