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Wagering Preview: Heat vs. Pacers
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The Indiana Pacers will look to avoid an extremely early elimination from the 2020 NBA playoffs when they face off against the Miami Heat in Game 4 on Monday night. Indiana has fought hard in the series, but thus far it has just been unable to keep up with Miami on either end of the floor. The Pacers are clearly missing the presence of Domantas Sabonis, who has not played for the team in Orlando due to plantar fasciitis. Sabonis was the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer during the regular season, and they have missing his production. 

Miami, on the other hand, has been clicking on all cylinders, led by All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. But while those guys have led the way, it’s been a full team effort for Miami, which has been getting very solid production from its guard trio of Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson, and Tyler Herro. Two teams — the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors — have already swept their opponents in the Eastern Conference postseason picture, and the Heat will look to make it a third on Monday night. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Game 4 between the Pacers and Heat. 

Viewing information

  • Date: Monday, Aug. 24 | Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: TNT
  • Odds: Heat -6 | Over/Under: 216.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)

Storylines

Pacers: History isn’t on the Pacers’ side. No team in NBA history has ever come back to win a best-of-seven series after being down 3-0. At this point, pride is on the line for Indiana, as no team wants to be on the wrong end of a sweep. If they are indeed going to extend the series though, the Pacers will need their two most capable scorers — Victor Oladipo and T.J. Warren — to step up. Both have averaged less than 20 points per game in this series (thanks largely to Miami’s solid team defense), and that’s just not enough production to get the job done, especially when you’re already missing a top scorer in Sabonis. With their season on the brink of coming to a close, it will be extremely interesting to see how the Pacers respond. 

Heat: For Miami, the No. 1 objective on Monday night is making sure that the series isn’t extended. The NBA postseason is a major grind, and the less total games a team has to play, the better. The chances for injury issues increase with each additional game, as does overall fatigue. Considering the Heat are likely heading into a second-round matchup with the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, they will want to be as fresh as possible. Look for Butler and Adebayo to set the tone for the Heat early on, on both ends of the floor, as they have all series. 

Game prediction

Unfortunately for Indiana, it looks like its playoff run is about to come to an end. Though the Pacers have fought hard throughout the series, they’ve been unable to keep up with the Heat through the first three games, and there’s really no reason to believe that things will be different in Game 4. With an opportunity to close out the series and get a bit of additional rest before the second-round starts, expect to see a focused and motivated Heat team on Monday night. The team hasn’t advanced past the first round since 2016, and it’s safe to say that they will be extremely eager to do so. Pick: Heat -6

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