The Indiana Pacers are squaring off against the Miami Heat tomorrow night in a rematch of last season’s eastern conference semifinals. The Pacers lost to the Heat in six games and since then, there has definitely been a rivalry between the teams. The make-up of the teams may have changed but the bitterness is still there.
In their first meeting the Pacers won at home with a final score of 87-77. The Pacers’ stifling defense was too much for the Heat to overcome. Paul George led the way in the first meeting but in this second meeting, another Pacers’ player will need to step up.
Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert has been having a decent season averaging 10 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 2.6 BPG. However, the Pacers will need more out the big man tomorrow night as they face the defending champions. In their first meeting, Hibbert only scored six points but grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds as the Pacers out-rebounded the Heat 55-36.
Hibbert needs to dominate on the glass like he did in the first meeting with the Heat. However, the Pacers will need more scoring out of Hibbert if they hope to beat the Heat for the second time this season.
The Heat are arguably the most athletic team in the NBA, but they are also one of the smallest teams in the league. Despite the additions of “Birdman” Chris Andersen and Jarvis Varnado, the Pacers should still have a big size advantage. Hibbert stands at 7’2” 280 pounds, and he should be able to impose his will against the Heat’s smaller frontcourt.
Hibbert will need to dominate the Heat tomorrow night and will have to bring the toughness. This will not be an easy game for the Pacers but if Hibbert steps up and has a big game the Pacers can win this game.