You can’t tell the Indiana players without a program but this skilled NBA handicapper can tell you whether this group of misfits is capable of extracting their playoff revenge vs. the Miami Heat.
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat (-8) 7:35 ET ESPN
When ESPN announced this Wednesday night meeting, much more was expected for viewers than the team the Pacers will put on the floor tonight. They currently sit as the underdogs in NBA odds. Some may opt for playoff revenge after the Pacers lost to Miami in 6 games of last year’s playoff party. But, it is a fine line between revenge and dominance. Consider that is was the 3rd consecutive year that Miami knocked Indiana out of the playoffs and that with that Game 6 victory, the Heat have now won 7 straight games against Indiana on this court. In actuality, little of that has much relevance for this game. As for Indiana, you can’t tell the players without a program.
An Olympic injury to Pacer's star, Paul George has put him on the sidelines for the season. The trading of Lance Stephenson, arguably Indiana’s 2nd best player, was a further blow to Indiana hopes this season. As if that was not enough, Indiana has begun the season with 2 other starters, West and Hill, on the injured list, along with key reserve, CJ Watson. The only lone face you will recognize is that of Roy Hibbert, the stoic presence in the middle. This year, he is surrounded by the less than household names of AJ Price, Solomon Hill and Lavoy Allen. In short, Indiana is a completely different team. The results have shown. An opening night home victory vs. Philly, the worst team in the league, was a positive start. But, 6 losses ensued before the Pacers were able to right the ship with a 1 point victory Monday night against a Utah team which may be the worst in the West. Now, Indiana must travel to Miami where they will see plenty of familiar faces.
Gone is LeBron James, who has returned to his Cleveland roots in an effort to win that franchise its first playoff crown. Without their star, much less was expected of Miami, who is projected to win just 44 games. This bureau believes they will do much better and recommends that you place your NBA pick on them. At 5-2 SU ATS, Miami has proven they will battle for supremacy in the East. Key changes are the addition of Luol Deng and the assertion of PG Cole into the starting rotations for Chalmers. We won easily with Miami on Sunday night, in their 105-96 road upset over a very good Mavericks team. In that contest, the chemistry of the Heat was evident. Bosh went for 20/10, Wade had 20 points and 10 assists, while Deng (30) and Chalmers (18) took advantage of those two being double teamed. Should that chemistry continue, Miami will be very tough to beat for Eastern conference supremacy!
Free NBA Pick: Heat -8 at Bet365. Bottom line is that Indiana revenge may have to wait a long time with these respective lineups on the floor.