NBA Playoff Matchup: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat

NBA Playoff Matchup:  Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat

It’s a new series in the Eastern Conference–the Indiana Pacers fought off a determined comeback effort by the Miami Heat in Game 4 to prevail and tie the series at 2 games apiece. The teams head to South Florida for Game 5 and will return to Indiana for Game 6. The struggle between the two Eastern Conference teams is great for the San Antonio Spurs who have already locked up the Western Conference title and are rested while the Heat and Pacers are playing.

The Heat have looked downright lackadaisical throughout most of this series. With the exception of a Game 3 blowout win they just haven’t looked dominant–or for that matter particularly focused–in the remaining three games. They’re returning home now and that should give them an additional boost. This is a spot where many of the fans that will be in attendance tonight were expecting the Heat to be up 3-1 and in a position to eliminate the Pacers. Now they’re tied 2-2 and regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game will be heading back to Indianapolis to play Game 6. Working in Miami’s favor–the Pacers have just been a so so team away from home going 22-26 SU/24-24 ATS.

One thing that Miami has demonstrated so far in this postseason is their ability to come back strong following a loss. Their best effort of the series–the Game 3 blowout win on the Pacers’ home floor–was off a loss and they put a nasty beating on the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 off that series also off a loss. This season the Heat are 14-3 SU/11-6 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite. The Heat have so much talent that they think they can ‘flip the switch’ and play hard when they have to. Sometimes they can’t get away with it (as was the case in Game 4 of this series) but based on their performance off an upset loss there’s reason to expect a strong effort in the subsequent game. Look for that to happen again tonight–the Pacers deserve credit for having earned a couple of wins in this series but they’re still a long way from eliminating the defending NBA champions.