Miami Heat look to take a clean sweep against Indiana Pacers
The Heat have already beaten the Pacers twice this season. Image: USA-TODAY Sports

Dion Waiters led the charge against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte Hornets earlier this week but now face playoff rivals the Indiana Pacers.

The form between the two Eastern Conference teams differs, with the Miami Heat’s confidence high coming off the back of a win against the Hornets and back to back victories over the Cavs.

Indiana have suffered slightly since the All-Star game, including a 99-85 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

A win for the Heat will put extra pressure on Milwaukee and the Chicago Bulls as the post-season draws closer and the race for the playoffs heightens.

Battle of the MVP’s?

The game could be decided by which franchise’s key player can make the difference on the court.

For the Pacers, Paul George has led the way this season; averaging 22.1 points per game, as well as 6.3 rebounds. Also, George boasts an impressive 92.1 percent completion rate at the foul line.

He was the only player from either team to feature in the 2017 All-Star Game, playing 22 minutes and scoring 12 points for the East.

For the Heat, their main man on the backcourt has been Slovenian Goran Dragic. He averages slightly less than George in points, at 20.2, but also provides over six assists a game.

It could also be a battle of the big men too, with Hassan Whiteside squaring up against Myles Turner at centre.

Turner has been a regular for Pacers since been drafting from Texas, averaging over 10 points a game in his first two seasons in the NBA.

Whiteside struggled at first but since his move to Miami in 2014 he has averaged over 10 points again too, as well as being in double figures for rebounds.

Goran Dragic has led Heat's recent playoff charge. Photo: USATSI
Goran Dragic has led Heat's recent playoff charge. Photo: USA-TODAY Sports

Heat's push for the play-offs

Before facing the Toronto Raptors, Miami were on a solid 7-3 run, tearing past fellow Eastern franchise's such as Atlanta Hawks, and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The recent charge comes with under 20 games left of the regular season and the 7-11 partnership between Dragic and Waiters flourishing.

Against the Hornets, they collectively scored 42.6 percent of Heat's points and scored 50 between them as they demolished conference leaders Cleveland in their own back yard.

The Eastern Conference is tightly poised, with Miami sat in tenth but with identical records to the Bulls and only one more loss than the Bucks with one game spare.

A crucial period occurs now for the Heat, with them facing Raptors and Pacers in their conference before then facing the low lying Pelicans and Timberwolves.

Game information

Tip off is scheduled for 18:00EST, with no injuries for either team.

In their last encounter back in February, Heat produced a good comeback in which they went on a 19-6 run to win the game 113-95 at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Miami won their first match of the season against the Pacers 95-89 on Hassan Whiteside’s 26 points.