Oddsshark has the Miami Heat defeating the Indiana Pacers at home tonight by a score of 116-107. In their Edge Finder rankings, the game pits the two worst shooting 3-point teams in the NBA, the Pacers at 30th and Heat at 29th. I said to myself, "Is that really true?" NBA stats verified it.
After 2 games Indiana is dead last in 3P% at 25.0, and Miami next to last at 26.7. One other number jumped out to me on that traditional stats page: the Heat had the 2nd most blocks against them with 10, Memphis Grizzlies are first with 12. Just looking at those 2 numbers, they confirmed the Magic’s strategy of packing the paint with shot-blockers and daring the Heat to beat them from downtown.
The Pacers don't have a Nikola Vucevic or Bismack Biyombo protecting the rim. With Myles Turner out, their depth chart shows Al Jefferson and Ike Anigbogu as their traditional rim-protectors for tonight’s home opener. The Pacers defensive frontcourt players may give the Heat better looks in the paint than what they faced versus the Orlando Magic.
The Pacers are coming in from Indiana on the second game of a back-to-back, their third game in four days, and without their best player at center. The Heat will be without their entire starting frontcourt from last season's second half, Hassan Whiteside, Rodney McGruder, and Luke Babbitt.
Matt Williams Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr. can suit up to provide 3-point shooting depth. Their time on the court tonight doesn’t count against the 45-day NBA limit, because G-League training camp doesn’t start until Monday. That would leave 4 inactive players out of the 17 on today’s roster, since only 13 can dress for a game.