Indiana Pacers (27-19)
Miami Heat (29-13)
Today is going to be a cold cold day, but the atmosphere in Banker’s Life Field House will be electric tonight as the Miami Heat pay a visit. They haven’t forgot about that loss to the Pacers in January, I can assure you of that, so tonight’s game should be an interesting one. The Pacers won’t back down from that challenge as they proved they could hang with the Heat. Paul George had a fantastic game stifling Lebron James in that last meeting. Even outplaying him in most people’s minds. He was all over him defensively and didn’t even foul till late in the game. The Pacers were able to cool down a hot scoring team and only allowed 77 points in that contest.
But can they do it again? That will be the big question tonight. There hasn’t been much momentum after those three road losses and an easy victory on Wednesday night that saw the Pacers get their second wall to wall win against the Pistons. This Pacers team knows what they need to do against the Heat, and will have to do it even better.
That defense will have to be just as good as it was last time out. Paul George might have to step up even more because Lebron James is going to bring it tonight. He might say oh it’s just another regular season game, but the way the Pacers were able to control that last game has to make James feel something.
The Pacers will have to control the glass as Miami doesn’t have the big guys to really contend with Roy Hibbert and David West. Bringing in Ian Mahinmi just brings in another big man. You know Tyler Hansbrough isn’t that big, but he plays big. His intensity makes up for his lack of size. He’s got some strength when he gets going.
But I’m looking at Paul George and how he takes on the challenge of guarding Lebron James again. If he can stay with him most of the night, the Pacers have a good shot at another win. It won’t be an easy win, but a win is something the Pacers can build on. Especially when we look at the next couple of game and see the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls looming next. This month will be full of home games for the Pacer fan in you to see, and what better way to start than tonight with the Heat? All tonight will be about Beating the Heat.