Pacers vs. Heat Preview
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - Despite the mayhem and chaos that often accompanies the NBA Playoffs, the Western and Eastern conference finals feature matchups of the conference’s top two seeds.
Seemingly when both Indiana and San Antonio were forced into game seven situations, fans everywhere held a collective breath. They were anticipating the first time an eight seed knocked off a top dog in the first round. However, both teams would prevail and win convincingly in the second round.
The path for the Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals has been a turbulent one. The Pacers kicked off their postseason campaign by backing into the playoffs while being matched against one of the worst playoff teams in NBA History. Respectfully, the Hawks were certainly better than advertised and played exceptional for a team of their record and stature. In fact, the Hawks could have won the series and the Pacers showed their discontent when a brawl erupted among teammates. Furthermore, the Pacers dodged a bullet when Paul George was not disciplined for his role in a skirmish between Atlanta and Indiana.
Indiana would dodge another bullet in the second round against the Washington Wizards. The Wizards, led by John Wall and Bradley Beal, would make a similarly quick exit from the playoffs after dispatching the highly regarded Chicago Bulls in five games. Seemingly the Pacers have got their groove back and they have home court advantage against a Miami Heat team that relies heavily on their home audience. However, the Heat have made it to the conference finals in just nine games. They swept the seven seed Charlotte Bobcats and only dropped one game to the aging Brooklyn Nets.
The Heat and the Pacers are quite familiar with each other after battling tirelessly for the coveted top-seed all the way through the end of the regular season. It should be noted that these teams have split their last 14 meetings including regular season and playoff games. Expect a physical and spirited bout to go the distance this series. In the end, the Pacers will be a problem for the Heat and they will step it up with the physicality and bully Miami in front of their home crowd. The Pacers win this one in seven.