First of all lets just take a short note to all of our readers and future ones as well that we will not review the games because of the betting opportunities, but instead we will only write about interesting matchups and what could be more amusing than an early insight in the battle between the top two teams of the Eastern Conference. An easy prediction by all standards is that this will be the Conference finals off the 2014 NBA playoffs.
Feel The Heat
With all the movement around the league in the past year the power of the big three comes more and more in question. Today you have a very strong Pacers team with a deep bench, the Rockets have two superstars in their starting lineup, Minnesota is developing from game to game, the Pelicans have probably the biggest talent pool in their hands, even Sacramento is constructing a powerful squad for the coming years, etc. There is still one very important aspect of the game that keeps Miami above the competition – their organization. Pat Riley is one of the most powerful figures in modern basketball. Since his beginnings as a NBA coach he has been destined for greatness and constructing a superstar squad is nothing new to him. Just remember the LA Lakers in the 80’s and the NY Knicks in the 90’s. He constructed the team and as the backbone of Heat’s organization he is keeping everything in the right order. Rarely which NBA team can be lucky enough to have a skillful president of basketball operations such as Riley.
The Depth of Pacers Bench
There was lots of talking about the team that Indiana has constructed over the years, practically from nothing. Their draft selections and trade negotiation abilities have brought them a stable squad that has one pure superstar and couple of potential ones. Again big part of the success came from the impeccable organization that his team has. I mean just imagine the position of the Pacers office after the brawl in Auburn Hills. Their team team quickly dismantled and their star player didn’t met expectations. From a position of contenders they came to the situation where they didn’t have the atmosphere or cap space to sign a star player neither top 5 picks on the following drafts. In a relatively short period of time they’ve constructed a team full of talent and experienced quality veterans. That’s a feat that not anyone can do, I mean don’t count the Spurs in this category … Situation where you have Lous Scola, superstar in his one way, coming off the bench and your team can survive long periods without one of your top players like Granger you must be doing something right.
It’s All About The Matchups
Rare occasino for all NBA fans and Pacers season ticket holders to see somebody slow down LeBron James. Paul Gorge already made the leap to the NBA elite, but tonight will be the one of many in which he can show that he really belongs there and nothing better than a matchup against the King. All eyes will be on these two players, but there are clearly some maybe even more important duels. Miami has decided to go small again this season and not trade for any quality big men. They have signed Oden, but it is a big gamble that will maybe pay-off in the playoffs. Tonight their biggest problem will be size and it will be interesting to see how will Bosh, Haslem and Andersen battle in the paint against Hibbert, West and Scola. It is clear that Miami has a faster frontcourt, but that is not a much important feat when you can’t enter the paint and have a clear look and this will be a problem because all Indiana big men play top level defense around the rim.
Miami Heat: Dwyane Wade probable (knee), Michael Beasley questionable (hamstring) ; Greg Oden out (knee)
Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger out (calf)
Dwayne Wade banged his right knee, the one that still didn’t healed right and on which he had intensive treatments during the off-season. It will be really hard to go against a physical Indiana squad and face the relentless defender Lance Stephenson, which is why this will be yet another key matchup tonight.
We wouldn’t dare to bet on the final outcome of this game because we wan’t to enjoy in this duel as much is we can. That’s why we will pick that it will be a close game and either team will win with a margin greater than 5 points.
- Dwyane Wade injury: Heat star a game-time decision against Pacers (sbnation.com)
- Dwyane Wade misses shootaround but expected to play vs. Pacers Tuesday (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat: Preview of Eastern Conference Heavyweight Bout (bleacherreport.com)
- Paul George Has Made the Leap. Now Can He Take the (Miami) Heat? (bleacherreport.com)
- NBA Preview: Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat (movoli.com)
- Miami Heat (16-5) at Indiana Pacers (18-3), 7 p.m. (ET) (miamiherald.com)