In a battle between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday night, the Indiana Pacers beat the Miami Heat 90-84. The Heat’s loss exposed their biggest weakness, but also showed why things will be different if the two teams meet in the playoffs.
The Pacers dominated the Heat close to the basket with their two biggest players, Roy Hibbert and David West, combining to score 41 points and grab 14 rebounds.
The size advantage produced a lot of easy baskets for the Pacers (see GIF below). But the Heat’s lineup will likely look much different if the two teams face-off in the Eastern Conference Finals as expected.
The Heat signed Greg Oden this past off-season and are paying him $US884,000 to sit on the end of the bench in street clothes. Oden, one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history, was healthy enough to play in the preseason but has yet to appear in a regular season game.
It would appear at this point that the Heat are saving Oden for later in the season to increase the chances that he will still be healthy for the playoffs, when the Heat will need a big man, especially against the Pacers.
While Oden may never be the star he was expected to be when he was the first pick of the 2007 NBA draft, he is still big and he will make plays like this much more difficult for the Pacers.
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