The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers have been the best of the Eastern Conference in the NBA this season. We all knew that at some point it would come down to this, an epic race to the finish line to see which team could capture the Golden Ticket of a #1 seed and gain home court advantage. It would be great for the NBA playoffs to see these two teams battle for a chance at an NBA title.
And here it is. As we write this, both the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers have claimed their divisions. Miami is sitting at 52-23, a winning percentage of .693. The Pacers, who once held a three game lead only two weeks ago, have fallen to 53-24, a .688 percentage that puts them in second place. With seven games remaining on the schedule it’s still anyone’s race to claim.
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Miami is struggling though. Injuries have been a major factor, as Dwyane Wade is limping, LeBron James is playing through pain, and various other ailments such as the flu ravage the Heat roster. The Pacers have their own problems though. Indiana is 3-7 over the course of their last ten games and internal discord seems to be high.
Since a brilliant 84-83 win over the Heat in Indiana, the Pacers have won just a single game. The slide has been dramatic. Miami, who took one on the chin, has seen some marginal improvement. Over the course of the next week we’ll see which team heads into the playoffs with some momentum and which team is headed for futility and a long off-season.Eric Drouant