Heat vs Pacers, part dos.
The first time around, we heard the narratives. That the Indiana Pacers were really looking forward to the matchup and the Miami Heat was barely looking at it, calling it just another game. No rivalry here. Nothing meaningful here. Got the t-shirt, nothing to see.
I’m pretty sure part two will be all that, and more. Ideally, both teams will play all-out, publically admit it the true significance and we’ll have another great game. The reality is, LeBron James is gimpy and the Heat has the regular season in cruise control.
In other words, the Heat are doing their best to not make this what we all want it to be.
Perhaps this tweet epitomizes these two teams approach best:
Pacers been busting their ass every night. They're 20-4. Miami been on cruise control. They're 18-6.
— D'Brickashaw (@DragonflyJonez) December 17, 2013
Still, a December game between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference (some would argue the only two teams in the Eastern Conference) is good enough for many to get up for. However, on Tuesday, Heat guard Dwyane Wade was still doing his best to downplay it.
“It’s a basketball game (with) two good teams. … It’s not a big deal,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. “It’s not our championship, I’ll tell you that.”
“Everybody goes about it their own way,” Wade said. “We’re not the kind of team or kind of guys who talk about stuff. We just go do it. But they like to talk. If it works for them, it works for them. I really don’t lose any sleep over talk. We just go out and play the game.
“They’re a good team. There’s no secret about it. They’re one of our biggest challengers. … Hopefully it comes down to us and them to get to the Finals and the best team wins.”
The bottom line is that, to the two teams on the court, tonight may not matter as much as we’d want it to. But something tells me, that deep down inside, it means a whole lot more than the Miami Heat care to admit and a little less than the Pacers are spoon-feeding us.
Safe to say, it’s somewhere in-between. Either way, tonight should be highly-entertaining TV.