MIAMI HEAT (29-13)
at INDIANA PACERS (27-19)
Tip-off: Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: Miami -2, Total: 183.5
Miami is looking to avenge a Jan. 8 loss to the Pacers when the teams meet up in Indiana on Friday night.
The Heat are 5-1 SU (4-2 ATS) in their past six games and are coming off a blowout road win over the Nets on Wednesday in which they won by a final score of 105-85. The Pacers, on the other hand, blew out the Pistons at home that same night, winning 98-79. The last time these teams met on Jan. 1, the Pacers pulled down 22 offensive rebounds and won 87-77.
Can the Heat avenge last month's loss in Indiana? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Totals, the experts are a stellar 19-6 (76%) in the past seven days with StatFox Gary going 9-1 and StatFox Brian at 5-2 since Jan. 25. For the season, StatFox Scott is a strong (58%) (67-48) in Totals, while Gary is a solid 53% (60-54-4). For Best Bets, Scott is 8-5 ATS (62%) since Jan. 24 to boost his season Best Bets mark to 53.2% ATS (67-59-1). Brian is at 51.1% ATS (71-68-3) after a 4-3 ATS mark in the past five days.
After some pre-game trash talk by Nets PF Reggie Evans, the Heat won their first-ever game in Brooklyn by 20 points. In that game, SF LeBron James and SG Dwyane Wade were brilliant. James dropped 24 points (10-of-18 FG), nine rebounds and seven assists, while Wade scored 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting. This duo combined for 52 of the team's 77 points in last month's loss at Indiana. Early in the season, James was doing most of the work for Miami by himself, but Wade has really stepped up and played like his All-Star self the past couple of games. Over the past five games, Wade is shooting 54% from the field and averaging 25.8 PPG to go along with 5.8 APG and 4.0 RPG. In the four games prior to the Brooklyn win, PF Chris Bosh was averaging less than 10 FG attempts per game, but he took 14shots in Wednesday's victory, finishing with 16 points. Head coach Erik Spoelstra has said that the Heat plan to make it a goal of theirs to get Bosh more involved in the offense.
Indiana had lost three straight games before blowing out the Pistons Wednesday. SG Paul George scored only 10 points (3-of-11 FG) in the win over Detroit, but he had scored 22+ points in each of the three games prior to playing the Pistons. George also scored a team-best 29 points and grabbed 11 boards in the win over the Heat in January. C Roy Hibbert had 14 boards in that matchup, nine on the offensive glass, and is finally starting to find his game, which makes the Pacers a very dangerous team. Hibbert had one of his best performances of the year so far on Wednesday, scoring 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds against the big frontline of Detroit. Perhaps the most consistent of the Pacers, PF David West, has been playing really well over the recent stretch of games. Over the past five contests, West is averaging 18.0 PPG on 52% FG, while adding 4.8 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.8 BPG and 1.6 SPG during that stretch. He finds ways to help his team win games no matter what his team needs that night and he posted a double-double last month against Miami with 14 points and 11 rebounds.