Playoff basketball is back! The Indiana Pacers (45-28) will “host” the Miami Heat (44-29) in the opening round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The Pacers gained the home court distinction by topping Miami last Friday, but home court itself will be a neutral site within the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World.
The Pacers have struggled against the Heat this year, going 1-3, complete with extended drama involving both Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren prior to the suspension of the season in March. Since resumption, Warren has flourished in the bubble, earning First Team honors, but had his worst game against Miami, scoring just 12 points.
Without Domantas Sabonis, Warren will be called upon to carry the scoring load, but will be dealing with plantar fasciitis, listing him as questionable for the injury report, though he did practice yesterday. For the Heat, Derrick Jones Jr. is also listed as questionable following a frightening neck strain he suffered last Friday.
Miami will be shaking up their starting lineup prior for Game 1, moving Kendrick Nunn to the bench and likely bringing Jae Crowder in to start.
This will be the first playoff meeting between the teams since facing off three consecutive years from 2012-2014. The Pacers will be looking to advance out of the first round for the time since that final year while the Heat have just a single playoff series win in the same time period, beating Charlotte in 7 in 2016.
Where: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, FL
When: 4:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana / TNT
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, Aaron Holiday, T.J. Warren, Myles Turner
Heat: Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder, Bam Adebayo
Views from South Beach: Hot Hot Hoops