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PreHeat: Indiana Pacers (5-6) visit the Miami Heat (8-5)

  • In what would have been another speedy challenge at the point guard position, the Heat might be slightly off the leash with summer acquisition Darren Collison out with a sprained ankle. Darren is on day-to-day status but highly questionable for tonight’s game. TJ Ford is nothing to shake a stick and the Heat would benefit from Arroyo or House on their best defensive behavior.
  • Center position, the other glaring hole now sunk deeper with Haslem’s injury, will be a monumental task for Bosh or Joel to handle. Roy Hibbert’s length, agility and motor might be too swift for the Heat elderly (Ilgauskas, Howard, Magloire) to prove useful if assigned.
  • Now that the active lineup for the game has a spot to be filled, Pittman could be given a chance at some minutes. Quite the long shot of course, given the Heat’s impatience for youth and evident the last two years in the form of Beasley. Hibbert is coming in averaging 10 RPG (10th in NBA) and 2.6 BPG (6th in NBA). A solid candidate for Most Improved Player this season if Beasley doesn’t beast his way into it.
  • Just a few days after being the chosen one for the Rudy Gay buzzer beater poster, LeBron James gets a defensive work load in Pacers franchise player Danny Granger. Danny’s numbers have slightly dropped from last season but is still the Pacers leading scorer with 21.3 PPG (20th in NBA). Don’t mistake chasing Danny around screens solely LeBron’s responsibility. The screener’s defender must adjust accordingly and the Heat’s most adept man (Haslem) will be missing. Can anyone avoid a Granger crime scene?
  • Statistical Notes: Pacers are allowing 40.0 Opponent’s Three Point % (4th worst of 30). Time for James Jones and Eddie House to shine? Conversely, they are 2nd in 3 Pointers Rate, under the Magic and above the trigger happy Suns. Prepare for a marathon of rotations at the 3pt line.
  • Pacers currently get 7.76 % of their shots blocked (3rd worst of 30). Joel Anthony redemption anyone?
  • Personally, nostalgia will be at its most potent tonight. James Posey, the championship’ year’s glue guy, is now the Pacers’ 7th man, still draining threes and running on clutch fumes. His high socks are dearly missed.
Home Away
Miami Indiana
Heat Pacers
8-5 Record 5-6
(3rd of 30) 111.8 Off Rtg 106.4 (16th of 30)
(4th of 30) 101.2 Def Rtg 103.7 (9th of 30)
(21st of 30) 91.5 Pace 94.3 (12th of 30)
Likely Starters
Carlos Arroyo PG TJ Ford
Dwyane Wade SG Mike Dunleavy
Lebron James SF Danny Granger
Chris Bosh PF Josh McRoberts
Zydrunas Ilgauskas C Roy Hibbert
Eddie House 6th Brandon Rush
American Airlines Arena
7:30 PM EST
Sun Sports / 790 AM