Miami is suddenly on a two-game losing streak after a strong stretch of winning basketball.
The Miami Heat host the Indiana Pacers for the second straight game today as they seek revenge after an embarrassing performance on Friday in which they were blown out in the second half. Poor shooting from deep for the second game in a row led to their second consecutive loss after an impressive stretch of games winning 11 out of 12 saw the Heat race up the Eastern Conference standings in the race for a playoff seed.
Indiana was able to do whatever it wanted on the offensive end, so expect the Heat and their coaching staff to make some major changes to address that. Unfortunately it appears that Andre Iguodala will continue to be out with a hip injury, though Moe Harkless is available after being out for their first matchup with Indiana due to illness. Though Iguodala’s presence on the defensive end would have helped matters tremendously, perhaps newcomer Trevor Ariza is ready to play more minutes than he did in his Heat debut Friday and have a bigger role.
While the Pacers certainly looked impressive in their first matchup against the Heat, they have only won two consecutive games just once so far this season. Though Miami have played at a non-stop pace since the All-Star break, that’s not an excuse with so many East teams breathing down their neck in the standings. Continuing to allow opponents so many easy looks at the basket, or struggle with their offense as they did against the Memphis Grizzlies, will quickly undo all the hard work they put in the past few weeks to get back into the playoff race, and possibly even secure homecourt advantage, in a shortened regular season where all games truly matter.
ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 63% chance to win the game.
HEAT VS PACERS: SUNDAY, MARCH 21 AT 1:00 PM.
- Avery Bradley: out (calf)
- Udonis Haslem: out (health and safety protocols)
- Andre Iguodala: out (hip)
- TJ Warren: out (foot)
- JaKarr Sampson: out (knee)
TV: FOX SPORTS SUN
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)
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