While many people will tell you a game in early December doesn’t mean much, tonights Heat at Pacers game could dictate how each team approaches the rest of the season.
The Pacers (18-3) who have raced out to the leagues best record, lost to Miami in seven games last season in the Eastern Conference Finals. That game was played in Miami, something Indiana is trying to avoid this season.
“They’re a great team right now, the way they’re playing,” Heat forward LeBron James said
In the offseason the Pacers added Luis Scola, Chris Copeland and C.J. Watson to sure up a very weak bench.
Tonight Miami (16-5) will be with shooting guard Dwayne Wade who has missed six games this season to rest his injured knee. Wades health will play a key role in the Heat’s quest for a third straight championship.
James is having another tremendous season for Miami averaging 25,4 points per game t go along with six assists and 6 rebounds.
“He is the best player in the league right now and i look forward to this game,” Pacers Paul George said.
It will be important to both teams to lock up home court in the east and considering the garbage in the conference its only a two-team race. Wade has yet to play in a back-to-back this season which doesn’t give Miami the best chance to win. Those few games they may drop because of his absence over the reminder of the season could mean the difference between the #1 or #2 seed and a trip to the Finals.
Reports out of Miami are the two-time defending champions are looking to add a shooting guard via trade or free agency. Center Joel Anthony has been in trade rumors to acquire a guard to help fill the void for when Wade is out. This would be a huge mistake for Miami long term this season considering the big bodies they will face vs Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Pacers are built to beat up Miami in the post, you can’t lose Anthony since questions of Greg Oden’s health haven’t been answered and Chris Bosh is a true power forward.
Bosh has played well against Indiana in the past but he thrives playing his natural four-spot, moving Anthony puts Bosh in match-up nightmares against center Roy Hibbert.
Michael Beasley is playing well in his first season with the big three, averaging 11.4 points per game and shooting over 50% from the field. Beasley has the ability to score the ball with ease opening up driving lanes for both James and Wade. Him playing well give the Heat an added dimension they didn’t have last season.