The Pacers showed their Eastern Conference bona fides in a hard fought, 113-112 loss at Miami in their first game after Christmas. However, that loss started their current stretch which finds the blue and gold at 2-4 in their last six games.
The earlier loss in Miami amplifies the importance of winning this game because both teams remain in the same neighborhood in the Eastern Conference standings. The winner enjoys a two game swing and when the tie breaker is considered, it could eventually become a three game swing.
The Pacers just need to play well, which often ends with a W, after a clunky last couple of weeks while working without Malcolm Brogdon who remains questionable with a sore back. Also, with seven of their next nine games on the road, holding serve at home is important as the Pacers continue fighting the good fight while waiting for Victor Oladipo’s return which we now know will be on Jan. 29 barring any setbacks.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Aaron Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner
Heat: Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard
IND: Victor Oladipo (knee) - out, Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) - questionable, Domantas Sabonis (knee) - questionable, Naz Mitrou-Long (ankle) - out
MIA: Justise Winslow (back) - questionable, Jimmy Butler (back) - probable
Enemy view: Hot Hot Hoops
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.