Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs MIA
Scott Agness | March 8, 2013 at 11:12 PM
The Pacers (39-23) have made their way to South Beach for the only time this season in what has been a highly-anticipated matchup. A win would give the Pacers a regular-season sweep of the defending champs and put an end to the Miami Heat’s 17-game win streak, which ties the Los Angeles Clippers for the longest of the season. The Heat (46-14) has won their last 13 home games and on Friday became the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs after their win over Philadelphia.
The Heat’s last lost, back on the first day of February, was to the Pacers by double-digits. In fact, both meetings – and Pacers wins – this season have been decided by at least 10 points. Miami not only will be playing to avenge their previous losses and continue their winning ways, but a win would give them a victory over every NBA team this season.
Since their last meeting, the Heat have signed Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen for the rest of the season and re-signed 40-year-old Juwan Howard to a 10-day contract. Rebounding has been an issue all season and so they’re hoping these additions can help rectify those problems.
With the Heat, the primary concern is, of course, three-time MVP LeBron James, who has been off-the-charts again this season. He’s helped lead his team to the top record in the East and the incredible win streak. James’ individual game has been so outstanding that he’s won the Eastern Conference Player of the Month award each month this season. James is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 27 points per game to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Chris Bosh, who will be playing in his 700th career game, is shooting a career-high 53.5 percent from the floor. Dwyane Wade has been particularly special over the last seven games, where he’s scored at least 20 points and shot over 50 percent in each game. Wade has finished in double figures in 48 straight games.
Miami’s best outside shooters are Shane Battier (43.5 percent), who has hit a three-point field goal in each of the last 18 games, and Ray Allen (41.5 percent). Two of Allen’s worst career games have been against the Pacers this season. He’s missed all nine of his shots and finished scoreless both times, something he failed to do in just one other games throughout his illustrious 17 seasons.
Containing James, which will primarily fall on Paul George with the aid of Sam Young, forcing the Heat into tough shots, and rebounding will be the key factors. It’s going to get physical, so it’s important that the Pacers land the first blow (figuratively, of course) and not let up. The Heat have the best field goal percentage in the NBA, .495, and are the fifth highest-scoring team (103.5).
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
“They are playing so well. We are the last team to have beaten them. Everybody is going to be up for that game. It should be a fun one to watch. We know they are going to be ready because we are up 2-0 on them.” – Paul George
“Continue to play the way we’ve been playing. We got to lock in on defense and really try to play big. It’s going to be a tough game for us. We’re up for it and we’re excited for the challenge.” – Paul George on their focus
“We just want to play hard. It is going to be a tough game. We relish that type of atmosphere and experiences.” – Roy Hibbert
“I was trying to take it one game at a time, but now that it is over with I am excited about going down there (Miami). It is going to be a fun game. They are rolling and I am excited about it.” – Tyler Hansbrough said following Friday’s win in Orlando
- The Pacers won the previous two meetings this season, both in Indianapolis.
- Miami has sold out 105 consecutive games
The Pacers played together and remained composed in a physical matchup televised nationally on ESPN. The Pacers built on their eight-point halftime by controlling the paint and shooting 65 percent in the third period. They led by as many as 19 and pulled out their 13th-consecutive home win, 102-89 over the Heat, a team that tallied four technical fouls in the contest. The Pacers outrebounded the Heat by nine and held them to just six fast break points.
David West scored a game-high 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting. Paul George and Lance Stephenson each added 15. LeBron James led the Heat with 28 points and six rebounds.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (sideline reporter/host)
Next Home Game
The Pacers play the Timberwolves on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00 PM. Good seats are still available and include College Night presented by the Indiana National Guard. Find Tickets »