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Heat With Something To Prove, Pacers Look To Get Back On Track

Power balances shift in the NBA. While it looks as though the Chicago Bulls (6-2), Toronto Raptors (7-1) and (despite being 3-3) the Cleveland Cavilers may be the new top teams in the East, both the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat were, at one time, on top of the heap.

Miami is still staying relevant, sitting pretty tied for the top spot in the Southeast division despite being LeBron James-less. The Pacers, on the other hand, have fallen to the last place spot in the the Eastern Conference Central division.

It is pretty simple. A win for the Pacers will give this team, that is without its two starts Paul George and David West, a lot of confidence going forward, while a Miami win will keep the Heat trucking in a positive direction.

The Pacers come into the game has 8-point underdogs, so it’ll be an upset if they pull off the victory.

It is not all doom and gloom for the Pacers. Roy Hibbert lifted the Pacers to a 97-86 win over the Utah Jazz in their last outing. Hibbert is often inconsistent but when he is on, he goes off. He scored 29 points against the Jazz. The win broke a six-game losing streak for the Pacers and gives them some steam as they head into Miami.

We have already touched on the Pacers’ lack of playmakers due to injury. However, they beat the Jazz by relying on the rebound. They pulled down a total of 44 rebounds and 20 second chance points. That is good enough to put them in third in the NBA in rebounding. If they can match that with some offensive production, they have the ability to win a lot of games.

Betting trends are on the side of those who are looking to bet on Indiana. The last three times they went on the road they have went against the spread.

Meanwhile, the Miami Heat are proving they are still an offensive powerhouse even without James. Since the season started, Miami has scored over over 100 points in six of their seven games. Most of those points are coming from Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and offseason acquisition Luol Deng.

Bosh is averaging 23.6 points a game, while Wade is averaging 19.7. Deng scored 39 points in his last outing, while he is averaging 15.6 per game.

The Heat, though, are disadvantage in that they are the third worst rebounding team in the NBA. The Heat can put up a lot of points, but they will struggle if the Pacers can keep throwing them off their offensive game by pulling the ball off the boards.

Miami is 3-1 against the spread in their last four home games.

The game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and you can watch it on ESPN.

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