Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat
Heading into the season, Miami’s remaining “Big Two” – Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade – looked decidedly smaller without “King James”. But, from the first game of the year, Bosh and Wade have clicked, and fears that the Heat were actually a one-man team have dissipated.
After seven games, Miami is tied for first in the Southeast Division at 5-2. Tomorrow, they will welcome the beleaguered Indiana Pacers (2-6) to American Airlines Arena looking for their third win a row.
Combined, Bosh and Wade average 43.3 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 9.9 assists per game for the Heat. The elder-statesmen look like one of the most dominant duos in the Association in the early going. The main question mark is whether the aging pair can keep it up for 82 games, in particular Wade, who has struggled with injuries the past few years. If not, the Heat could be in serious trouble, as they do not have the depth – especially in the backcourt – to keep up without their stars.
On the other side, injuries have left the Pacers shorthanded in the early going, and they currently sit last in the Central Division at 2-6. Indiana’s downfall has been on offense. As last year’s leading scorer, Paul George, continues to recover from a catastrophic leg injury suffered in the off-season, the Pacers are averaging just 93.9 PPG, fifth worst in the league. With double-digit scorers David West and George Hill also sidelined, Indiana’s leading scorer is the unheralded Chris Copeland, who is averaging just 15.4 per night.
After losing six straight, Indiana was able to staunch the bleeding last night with a 97-86 win over Utah, getting a 29-point offensive outburst from center Roy Hibbert.
Miami has won six of their last ten games against the Pacers. They should add to that win total tomorrow.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison via Flickr [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)
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