Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat
Date and Time: Wednesday 12/18/13 at 7:00pm on ESPN
Game Line: Miami Heat -4 (from JustBet)
Wednesday Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat analysis: The two top teams in the Eastern Conference meet for the second time in a week on Wednesday night, this time in Miami, when the Indiana Pacers come to town. There’s a chance the best player in the game, LeBron James, could sit out this contest. James is questionable for Wednesday night’s matchup with a sprained ankle suffered late in the game against Utah on Monday. Miami will need James in top form if they’re going to get revenge on Indiana. Last Tuesday, the Pacers protected their home floor and beat the Heat 90-84, holding James to just 17 points in a game they controlled for much of the second half. These two teams have met in the playoffs each of the last two seasons, with the most recent being the Eastern Conference finals which went a full seven games. The Pacers have the best record in the Eastern Conference with Miami just two games behind them. No other team in the East is more than a game above .500. Indiana may have been peeking ahead to the rematch in Miami in its latest game, falling 101-96 to Detroit on Monday for its first home loss of the season. The Heat were a season worst 4 of 21 from three point range in the last match up but they’re among the league leaders at 37% per game, a stat that will surely improve on their home court. They will also need to play a full four quarters after being outscored 50-37 in the second half of their last meeting. While the real goal is a trip to the NBA finals, both teams know this game will have big implications as to who is the best team in the Eastern conference going forward. Miami did not play their best game in Indiana and assuming LeBron James plays, this should be a game where they come out motivated and sharp, looking for revenge, and should cover this small number at home.
Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat Picks: Miami Heat -4 and under 190
Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat Game Prediction: 96-91 Miami
What to expect this 2013 Indiana at Miami NBA match up: Miami will shoot the ball much better against Indiana’s stingy defense this time around, and they will play a full four quarters both offensively and defensively. Even with a hobbled LeBron, the Heat will wat to prove they’re still the class of the Eastern Conference with a win in this game. Indiana will have much less success in the second half with Paul George being shadowed, forcing someone else to step up late in the game but it won’t work and Miami will pull ahead in the fourth quarter.