Both teams have identical 16-16 records even if the path to those records has been different. The teams split two games at the Fieldhouse earlier in the season, with the Heat grinding out a 87-82 win less than two weeks ago, in a game that had people looking around for Dale Davis and PJ Brown.
Jimmy Butler missed the first game but was there for the last one which highlights how his injury management schedule has kept the Heat fighting for a .500 record. Butler is probable so far for Friday night, while the Pacers have added Tyrese Haliburton and Aaron Nesmith as questionable.
Nesmith has been valuable playing up at power forward and would be missed with this matchup since the Heat often start smaller with Butler listed at the four. Also, in that last grinder, Kyle Lowry and friends were quite physical with Tyrese Haliburton and held the Pacers star guard to one point. Looking forward to seeing how Haliburton adjust to what the Heat throw at him, assuming he is able to go.
DraftKings Odds: Heat -6.5, O/U 223.5 (latest DraftKings odds here)
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
TV: Bally Sports Indiana/Bally Sports + app
Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner
Heat: Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo
IND: Tyrese Haliburton - questionable (sore wrist), Aaron Nesmith - questionable (ankle sprain), Kendall Brown - out (right tibia stress reaction), Terry Taylor - out (G League assignment), Daniel Theis - out (knee surgery)
MIA: Jimmy Butler - probable (knee injury management), Dewayne Dedmon - probable (foot plantar fasciitis), Udonis Haslem - questionable (Achilles tendinosis), Caleb Martin - questionable (ankle sprain), Gabe Vincent - questionable (knee effusion), Omer Yurtseven - out (ankle surgery)
Please share your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.