Heat-Pacers, Will There Be Blood?





MIAMI – LeBron James insists it’s not a rivalry.

Not yet, at least.

The Miami Heat superstar might not want to mention that to the Indiana Pacers, in town today (6 p.m. ET on NBA TV) for a showdown between the hottest team in basketball and the last team to beat them, 37 days ago.

So while the eyes of the basketball world are fixed on the AmericanAirlines Arena to see the two best teams in the Eastern Conference square off, James isn’t ready to call this a rivalry?

“It’s Boston, Chicago more than Indiana,” James told reporters Saturday. “We’ve only had one series with those guys. So I would say it’s Boston … Indiana is not a rival at this point.”

The Heat are trying to stretch their franchise-best run to 18 straight wins. The Pacers are a wicked 4-0 on the road since the start of February and winning by an average of 19.5 points away from home. Something has to give. Both teams are motivated, eager to send a message to the other and operating with a clear understanding of what the final regular season matchup between the two of them means for the future, based on their recent history.

After a rugged playoff series last season, blood was spilled on both sides, and two wins by the Pacers in Indiana earlier this season, there is plenty of history to work with. The Heat have this one final chance to remind the Pacers and the rest of the NBA that they’re not on the same level as the reigning champs.

But they’ll have to do it by knocking out a Pacers team that specializes in pounding the opposition.

“We play with a little bit of chip on our shoulder and a little bit of swag,” Pacers center Roy Hibbert said. “I mean they get a lot of the calls. They’re the superstar team. We just take it personal and try to go at them.”

The Pacers, from head coach Frank Vogel on down the bench, use every perceived slight as motivation. And James dismissing them as a rival is sure to add fuel to the fire of a team that plays with a relentless desire to impose their will on the opposition. The Pacers smashed the Heat in their previous two matchups, outrebounding them by a wide margin (17.5) and holding the Heat under 100 points in both games.

While the Heat have imposed their will on every other team they have faced this season, they have not been able to match the physical edge the Pacers bring to the party.

“They’re as chippy as any team in the NBA,” said Heat forward Shane Battier. “There always are a couple of extracurriculars in there. We don’t back down from anybody.”

No one is suggesting anything outside the realm of good, hard-nosed competition being played with a playoff intensity. But if there is blood to be spilled, even just a drop, this is one game where no one should be shocked to see it happen.

“Each game is its own challenge,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This is one that everybody gets what they want: the fans get a game they think is compelling, Indiana wants to play us, and we want to compete against them.”

45 Comments

  1. This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog
    (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had
    to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  2. @ pacers pride-i totally agree w/ u cause it’s the truth, if refs now-a-days let teams just play w/ some contact like back in the day & not call every fingernail scratch foul or invent no contact fouls, miami can’t win 7 game series if they lasted even the full 7. u reminded me of that 42pt game by Rondo last playoffs & the horrific officiating the whole game that cost Celts the lost. Celts keep playing against this horrible officiating & winning most times except against thunder the other night-thunder 33 freethrows-Celts 20????

  3. W/E says:

    yep, pacers blood all over the court the Heat SLAUGHTERED THEM…

  4. John says:

    Pacers what happened?? You need to shut up ur mouth ok…hahahahaajajaja see u on play offsssss

  5. bigwes95 says:

    to anyone who says they get a lot of calls, it’s not as true as you think it is. OKC averages the most free throws per game and durant averages over three more than lebron. and don’t say the heat are ignorant punks who get everything handed to them. they don’t. if winning 17, going on to 18, games straight is ALL because of the refs, tehn you clearly don’t know basketball. their chemistry level is off the charts and that is what is truly making them scary good. their defense is better, chemistry is better, lebron can’t be stopped, on the franchises’ longest winning streak of all time, have a very favorable schedule remaining with this game as most likely the hardest one, and are most likely going to cake walk to the finals unless the pacers are lucky getting bosh injured again, or lebron or wade, or they have the luckiest 4 games of their lives, or miami just decides to not show up in the play-offs. which wouldn’t happen because they’re built for the play-offs and are starting to get in the play-off groove, or maybe nnot. their first year together the won 21 out of 22 games and weren’t in play-off mode yet, so they can defintely get better, which is scary for the whole league!

  6. dink says:

    KD stands for kraft dinner not kevin Durant , idiot …

  7. The greatest kobe bryant 24 says:

    @pacers pride you should say that to the LAKERS…. They BEAT the pacers, Because they can’t hold on to the ball…. Their 16 turnovers resulting to MIAMI points….

  8. sick says:

    sorry Pacers better luck next time… ;)

  9. Unknown says:

    Do you all know what NBA basketball is all about? It is about PUTTING THE BALL IN THE BASKET!!!!!! Not for swagger. I’m no LeBron hater but he shows off to much. Try to be like humble KD. :<

  10. pacers pride says:

    just as roy hibbert says above. THEY GET A LOT OF CALLS. to beat the heat at home you will not only have to beat a very good team, but overcome terrible officiating. watch for a key no call, or foul late in the game in the heats favor if its close. it seems everyone is a miami heat bandwagoner these days. pathetic. omg he won mvp!! who cares. the league wants him to be the next jordan. why? it makes them a lot of money off of ignorant people. in conclusion i think miami will win tonight. its what the league wants. but if somehow the better TEAM (as in the best team oriented team besides the spurs) wins tonight. it will def make my day. everyone watch as lebron whines after every possesion he doesnt get a call and never gets a tech for complaining.

  11. M-heat says:

    Lets go EL HEAT

  12. If Bosh gets his groove back for this game, Miami win. Plain and simple. Of course Wade needs to have a good game and LBJ needs to play all 4 quarters. If all of these things happen, the rest of the team will start feeling it and Shane and Allen will start raining 3s. Losing this game won’t doom Miami, but it would definitely hurt their ego and give Indiana an even bigger boost of confidence. Final score 98-88 in favor of Miami

  13. John says:

    Outlaw…ur mind is out of laws…keep crying baby nobody cant stop the Heat east final 3peat..season MVP LBJ and final MVP as well….

  14. Ladyshakalaka says:

    Outlaw513- you are a hater and you should jump off the cliff!

  15. theholyspectator says:

    if indy wins this game, id be very surprised…and shocked too…this is gonna be a true grind out game..

  16. Lebron's #1 fan says:

    Outlaw513 you’re such a hater. Get a life and get off Lebron’s back. Lebron’s is the BEST player in the NBA.

  17. Definitely not the pace and intensity of a rivalry yet. It does have the potential though. Let’s hope these two teams meet in the playoffs with the Eastern Conference Championship on the line, then we will see blood.

  18. Reblogged this on Below The Hardwood | NBA Blog and commented:
    At this point, I don’t see the Heat-Pacers as a battle between sworn enemies. Not much history between the two aside from last year’s playoff match-up in which the Heat were victorious after being down early. This series doesn’t ring bells like the Lakers-Celtics, Mavericks-Spurs, Pistons-Bulls, Knicks-Pacers battles have in the past.

    However, with the emergence of the Pacers as a contender, the Heat’s 17 game win streak and add the fact the Heat have yet to defeat the pacers this season, it could become a rivalry if these teams meet in the post-season.

  19. jay t says:

    im pretty sure lebron has never offended you in the least @ outlaw513….#stophating…..lmao

  20. jay t says:

    damn…outlaw513 does’nt like lebron one bit…lol

  21. Martin van Pul says:

    cute.

    “Do not argue with an idiot they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

    ― Mark Twain

  22. maloco1 says:

    outlaw513 is one of those lebron haters that mad about his winning championship last season.. lolz..

  23. W/E says:

    Blood broken legs arms and pain all over the court.

  24. […] Heat-Pacers, Will There Be Blood?NBA.com (blog)The Miami Heat superstar might not want to mention that to the Indiana Pacers, in town today (6 p.m. ET on NBA TV) for a showdown between the hottest team in basketball and the last team to beat them, 37 days ago. So while the eyes of the basketball …Sunday NBA schedule: Pacers will try to stop Miami's 17-game winning streakSB NationNBA game of the week: Pacers vs. Heat, Sunday at MiamiLos Angeles TimesNBA point spreads and picks – Bulls vs. Lakers, Pacers vs. HeatSportingNews.comSan Antonio Express (blog) -Bleacher Report -Naples Daily Newsall 241 news articles » […]

  25. […] LeBron James, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, Sekou Smith, Shane Battier / 4 Comments […]

  26. ko0kiE says:

    it will even be more intense because danny granger is back and it seems he and lebron don’t like each other at all…

    • nbapacersfan says:

      Unfortunately, Granger will not play tonight. He is experiencing what they are calling “above average soreness” in his knee. The Pacers are taking a very cautious approach with Danny’s rehab… they feel it’s best he not push through the pain.

    • nbapacersfan says:

      Unfortunately, Granger will not play tonight. He is experiencing what they are calling “above average soreness” in his knee. The Pacers are taking a very cautious approach with Danny’s rehab… they feel it’s best he not push through the pain.

      BLUE COLLAR / GOLD SWAGGER

  27. Outlaw513 says:

    Lebron is a prickface, Always hating and talking down about everyone. I’m have alwayas hated him. The only player on that team who isn’t a total a-hole is Wade. For the most part he keeps his mouth shut. I’m so sick of lebron this lebron that, who cares, your not the best in the league, your not better than Jordan, you do not make your team better, had you, you would have won in Cleveland your a overrated prick who should take a long walk off a short cliff, I hope the Pacers beat your behinds tonight.

    Go Blue & Yellow

    • You says:

      He does make his team better and he is the best in the league, you are about to see why Indiana can’t wait for football season

      • Y-Eazy says:

        Stop hating on LBJ cause he’s only the best player on the planet… Heat taking it again.. Lebron only had 13points today, and well, it wasn’t even close… Lets go Heat!

    • HEATFANSINCEWADE says:

      Being angry at the heat wont change the fact that they are the best team in the league. The defending champs, and your team will get crushed if not today but in the east finals if they make it lol

    • Kevin says:

      stop hatin cleveland was horrible but yet lebron led them to the finals so if you want to talk about a prick its you roy hibbert paul goerge and danny granger. the heat are the best team in the nba lebron the best player and the heat will beat the pacers today @ 6.

      oh and black and red kicks blue and yellows butt

    • Whatever says:

      Do you honestly believe that James doesn’t make his team better? I guess MVPs don’t mean anything then.

    • TT says:

      wow all that hatred take a lof energy. The Heat is my team but I hope they lose tonight because if they win then it’s probaby you who will hate them so much will wall off a cliff. Someone please give this outlaw person to the anger management hotline. The current Lebron’s popularity must be killing you huh outlaw

    • King James Fan says:

      The king will dismiss the Pacers @6 tonight just watch & 1 MORE THING DON’T HATE THE KING….HATE THE GAME

    • XxRc13xX says:

      Come on guys… really… the guy just want some attention…evidently this outlaw doesnt know anything bout the game….!!!! HATERS will hate…

    • Malinasti says:

      Dont you have anything better todo than sit and WINE, is this were you post your life problems inopropriatly? Its just a game. Im in Afghanistan serving my country and I cant even think of one person right ow I would talk about like you just did. Lebron James is right now one of the all around best basketball players ever to play in the league, No he probably will never set a high standard then MJ, but he will be/and is the next best basketball player right now. Congrats to the heat and Lebron James. Dwyane Wade is my favorite player and has been since he joined the Heat. Go Miami Heat.

  28. kinoako says:

    George vs Lebron? Not yet, at least. & will not be..

  29. John says:

    Heat gonna win this game..2 yrs from now pacers well be championship team unless they well remain as thesame guys right now..

  30. BURN says:

    The court will flow with the blood of the non-believers! #letsgoheat

  31. Heat #1 Fan says:

    Just like they say championships cost blood sweat and tears! And itll be fun to watch George measure to Lebron