It will be a battle of two of the Eastern Conference’s best when the Indiana Pacers visit the Miami Heat for a Friday night contest.
This is, without a doubt, the most exciting matchup to happen between these two teams since the days of their playoff battles. Indiana has opened the year winning 21 of 31 despite not having Victor Oladipo at all, and adjusting to an almost brand new starting unit.
Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner are both starting now, and playing well alongside one another. Aaron Holiday has shown tremendous growth, while Malcolm Brogdon and TJ Warren have really helped the offense out, along with Jeremy Lamb.
Miami, on the other hand, has us speechless. The Heat added Jimmy Butler and several promising young rookies to their team, as well as bringing in Meyers Leonard from Portland. Everything has been perfect and gone according to a plan that few outside the organization could have predicted.
Duncan Robinson is looking like Ray Allen, while Kendrick Nunn is a star. Bam Adebayo is no longer being held back by Hassan Whiteside and looks like an All-Star now. The scoring balance on this team is truly something to behold.
The spread for Friday night’s game favors Miami by 4.5 points, with the over/under set at 211.5.
Looking To Make Some Noise
Sabonis and Brogdon have both stepped up as leaders this year to help the Pacers to an impressive start. In a surprisingly loaded conference, the two of them have looked great. Warren has been healthy and making shots left and right, while Turner has been protecting the rim and knocking down jumpers.
This team is reminiscent of George Karl’s old Nuggets teams. They continuously have solid regular seasons and fall off in the opening round of the postseason. But even after losing there, they come back strong. Making it out of the opening round this year won’t be easy, but when Oladipo comes back, it could seem doable.
To get the win in this one, the Pacers will really need a sharp scoring balance. They will need a few guys to go over 20 points, and then lock in defensively. The cross-matchups will be fun.
Trying To Stay Hot
Justise Winslow has hardly played this year, while Dion Waiters has basically been suspended the whole way. Butler had to miss the first few contests, while Goran Dragic recently missed several weeks. But nothing seems to be able to derail this team.
Three years ago, Miami countered an 11-30 start with a 30-11 finish, and that team from the second half of the year is what the group this season looks like. No game is too tough for them, and the healthy culture is benefitting in so many ways. Who could have foreseen Robinson shooting it like Reggie Miller night in and night out?
The Heat are full of leaders and guys ready to step up when called upon. It also helps to have the most explosive dunker in the league to ignite the crowd in Derrick Jones Jr.
Indiana Surprises On The Road
This game will be close, but Indiana will get the victory. This will be a rare loss for the Heat.
Free Play: IND +4.5
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