Heat limping into and out of battle with limping Pacers

ESPN had its full hashtagging glory out for this third matchup between the Heat and Pacers last night. You would be excused if you did not feel the same buzz however. Both teams are comfortably one and two in the Eastern Conference and do not have a whole bunch to play for. They both have looked it.

And they gave us a show — thanks Paul George!

Since the All-Star Break the Pacers have gone 11-8 and the Heat have gone 11-7 entering Wednesday night. Those are nice records, but not if you want to have home court during the NBA Finals and are in a thick and heated race for the top spot in the East. No one is making any moves.

Meanwhile, the West has been tight as ever and should provide many enjoyable late nights for NBA fans in the coming months. Everyone out East is waiting for the inevitable showdown between the Pacers and the Heat. It is coming. It seems inevitable.

How good that series will be is a question open for debate. Especially with the the way the Heat and the Pacers are playing right now.

LeBron James took a look at this season and said going for the third championship in a row has been as tough as going for his first in Miami (h/t Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post):

“It’s the toughest season we’ve had since Year 1 just because of everything that comes with it. Just going out every night where you’re the target and everyone gets up for you and we have to find our own motivation every single night. It’s not always about our opponent. It’s about ourselves, too. It’s been a challenge this season, but we look forward to the next challenge, which is tomorrow [against the Pacers]. We’ll be ready when it all gets going.”

Nobody said it was giong to be easy.

Judging by how the Heat and Pacers seem to bring the best out of each other, both teams should be just fine. The challenge though lays ahead in May.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily