MIA: Justise Winslow, F; Luol Deng, F; Amar’e Stoudemire, C; Dwyane Wade, G; Goran Dragić, G
IND: Paul George, F; Myles Turner, F; Ian Mahinmi, C; Monta Ellis, G; George Hill, G
Coming out of the All Star break, the Miami Heat have looked impressive. Facing adversity in the form of playing without their two best players, the Heat set the tone for a second half of the season in which they’ll be fighting for playoff positioning.
About a week ago, things were looking promising for the Heat. They were speculated in numerous trade talks around the league and they were set to return to playing with a relatively healthy team. News then broke that Chris Bosh has blood clots in his calf and he’ll be out indefinitely. Also, Dwyane Wade after a surprisingly healthy first half of the season suddenly had to have an MRI on his knee. Felt like dejá vú for the Heat.
The Heat got good news back in that Wade is expected to play tonight against the Pacers. With Wade and Bosh both out, the Heat started scoring the ball at a rate we hadn’t before seen from them. Averaging around 96 points a game for the season, the Heat have put up 115 and 114 in the last two games.
Luol Deng has been the major contributor for the Heat combining for 57 points and 21 rebounds in the last two games. Goran Dragić is pushing the ball more and more and the affect of that is clear to see. Everyone has stepped up including Josh McRoberts, which is a positive development.
The Pacers are currently only one game behind the Heat in the standings. Holding a 2-1 season series lead, this is a pivotal game for both teams. Holding a tiebreaker advantage over Miami would be huge for the Pacers if it came down to the last few weeks of the season.
Their last meeting saw an overtime thriller won by the Heat.
Tip off is set for 7:30pm.