The Pacers return to the road for what will be a strange weekend in Miami starting on Friday night when they face the Heat in the first of two games on South Beach.
Normally, three nights in Miami for two games would be a disaster considering the major home off-court advantage the Heat enjoy to distract their opponents. However, with the pandemic protocols in place, the Pacers won’t be able to enjoy the sights and nightlife despite the locals doing so.
The matchup on Friday sees the Heat and Pacers going in opposite directions. While the Pacers are 2-8 in their last 10 games which has pushed them down to tenth in the Eastern Conference standings, the Heat appear to have recovered from the short turnaround to start the season and some injury issues. Miami is 8-2 in their last 10 games, now residing in fourth place in the East while starting to re-establish themselves among the top teams in the East who will be heard from once again in the playoffs.
Jimmy Butler in particular is in a grove, averaging over 27 points, 7 rebounds and almost 7 assists in Miami’s last six games in March.
While the Pacers are struggling, they continually put themselves in position to win against the top opponents they have faced of late. Unfortunately, fourth quarter fades have become chronic and debilitating.
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, Justin Holiday, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner
Heat: Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo
IND: T.J. Warren (foot) - out, Jeremy Lamb (knee)- out
MIA: Trevor Ariza (health and safety protocols) – out, Avery Bradley (right calf strain) – out, Maurice Harkless (stomach illness) – out, Andre Iguodala (left hip soreness) – out
Enemy view: Hot, Hot Hot Hoops
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.