Tonight at 7:30PM the Heat will host the Indiana Pacers in the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami, FL. This will be the first of four games this year between the two teams. They'll meet again here on January 23rd and twice in Indianapolis, on New Years' Eve and on April 5th. Miami's in the fifth game of an 11-game home-road rotation, where they alternate with every game. They'll hit the road after this one to play the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. The Pacers will head home to host the Denver Nuggets on Friday before hitting the road again.
The last time the Heat played the Pacers, it was two very different clubs on May 30th last postseason, in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals. MIami was led by 25 each from LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and 13 apiece from Rashard Lewis and Dwyane Wade. The Pacers were paced by a game high 29 points from Paul George, who also added eight boards. David West added 16 in the 117-92 Miami win. * Box Score * Full Recap
We feel grateful we were able to do it at home. We would have liked to have closed it out in Indiana but they pushed us and we had to do it here. So we don't take it for granted. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
Indy Cornrows has more on the Pacers.
Miami last played on Sunday night, hosting the Dallas Mavericks. It wasn't as close as the 105-96 score would indicate, as the Heat led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter, and shot 55% from the field to just 42% for the Mavs. Luol Deng scored 30 with five rebounds and four assists for the four-time defending Eastern Conference Champions, while Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade added 20 apiece. Each also notched a double-double on the night, as Bosh secured 10 rebounds and Wade distributed 10 assists on the night. Mario Chalmers came off the bench for 18 points. The Mavericks were led by Monta Ellis, who scored 23 points with five assists. Dirk Nowitzki had 17, Tyson Chandler had 16 with 15 rebounds, and Jae Crowder scored 15 in just 12 minutes off the bench. * Box Score * Full Recap
This was a very, very good win - our best win of the year so far. It was a challenge to play six games in nine nights. - Wade
For your Dallas news, check out Mavs Moneyball.
Indiana is coming off a 97-86 home victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday night. Roy Hibbert had 29 points with five rebounds, while AJ Price scored 22 off the bench in the win. Lavoy Allen scored a dozen with 15 rebounds in relief, and Solomon Hill got in on the act with 13 points. The Jazz were paced by a game-high 30 from Gordon Hayward, who drained 11-of-15 from the field. Enes Kanter added 18 and Derrick Favors had 13 with eight rebounds. * Box Score * Full Recap
I look at us as a young team just because everybody is new to their role, any kind of success can be a confidence builder. Build on the things we are doing well. Just understand that we can be better and correct the things we are not doing well enough. - Indiana coach Frank Vogel
For more on Utah, head over to SLC Dunk.
GameTime: 7:30PM ET
Where2Watch: FSI, Sun Sports
Where2Listen: 1070 The Fan, 104.5 The Ticket
All-Time Record: Miami is 40-55 all-time against the Pacers, their second worst win percentage against any Eastern Conference team.
Miami Heat: 5-2, .714, on pace for 59-23, tied for first in the Southeast Division, tied for third in the Eastern Conference, tied for sixth in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-L-W-W. Playoff Odds: 79.8%
Indiana Pacers: 2-6, .250, on pace for 21-61, fifth in the Central Division, tied for 13th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 26th in the NBA. Last Five: L-L-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 30.4%
Possible Starting Lineups
PG - Norris Cole
SG - Dwyane Wade
C - Chris Bosh
SF - Luol Deng
PF - Shawne Williams
PG - George Hill
SG - Rodney Stuckey
C - Roy Hibbert
SF - CJ Miles
PF - David West
PPG - Chris Bosh - 23.6, Dwyane Wade - 19.7, Luol Deng - 15.6
RPG - Chris Bosh - 10.3, Shawne Williams - 4.9, Justin Hamilton - 3.5
APG - Dwyane Wade - 6.9, Mario Chalmers - 3.6, Chris Bosh, Norris Cole - 3.0
SPG - Mario Chalmers - 1.6, Dwyane Wade, Shabazz Napier, Luol Deng - 1.3
BPG - Shawne Williams - 0.7, Dwyane Wade, 0.6
Look for the mostly new Heat to treat the mostly new Pacers like last year's Heat treated last year's Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. It could be a trap game, but I don't think so. Check back here prior to the tip for the Gamethread, soon after the final horn for the game wrap, and tomorrow morning for the Five Stars. Next up for the Heat, a trip to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.