Pacers look to #BeatTheHeat tonight at Bankers Life


After three straight losses and now two straight wins, the Indiana Pacers take to the floor tonight in their Hickory uniforms against the Miami Heat.

WHO: Indiana Pacers (2-3) v. Miami Heat (3-2)
WHEN: Tonight, 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT
WHERE: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)

TV: Fox Sports Indiana, ESPN
RADIO: 1070 the Fan
STREAM: Fox Sports Go and on the FSGO app

The Pacers
Indiana comes in on the back of a 100-98 win over the Boston Celtics for the second straight win and second of the season. Indiana’s small ball routine worked well against Detroit and was also fine against Boston leaving one to believe that it will be in action tonight when the Heat come to town.

The squad is relatively strong – as of now only Ian Mahinmi (questionable – sore lower back) and C.J. Miles (questionable – ankle) might not feature. Pacers fans will want both to be active, Ian for his big body presence and Miles for what his shooting has brought to the team early on, but would still be solid with George Hill, Monta Ellis, Paul George, and a combo of big men to start.

The bottom line tonight is that the Pacers have to start shooting better. Against Boston neither team was above average from the field but both sides were also playing pretty decent defense. However, the FG% against the C’s was not the first incidence. Additionally, Indiana has been extremely active defensively and especially in the steals category – that will be something to watch.

The Heat
Still battling Father Time, Dwyane Wade has been outstanding for a 33-year-old in the first few games of the season and leads the visitors in scoring with 22.2 points per game. Miami sits just inside the lower-half in total scoring, but are top six in field goal percentage meaning the Pacers will have to hone in on shot selection and force the Heat to go outside more and more, where they sit one spot below Indiana.

The other name to watch tonight is Hassan Whiteside, who has made himself known as one of the best shot blockers in the league while consistently crashing the boards at a high level. Whiteside has two double-doubles on the year and will be Miami’s biggest threat in the post on both ends of the floor.

Next: Butler: Pieces in place for season to remember

Regardless of what happens, bringing the Heat to Indiana is always fun for both sides. Though a little bit of legitimacy has been taken out of this rivalry since the LeBron days, it’s a match-up that both sets of fans crave for and circle on their calendars when the season starts up.

Lastly, don’t downplay the effectiveness of these Hickory uniforms for Indiana tonight. In years past, wearing the alternate uniforms (pinstripes, FloJos) have proved to be a huge success in the win column and hopefully the new concept will do the same. Tipoff for tonight set for 8 pm ET.