It’s the offensively sound, high-octane Indiana Pacers against the pesky, defensive-minded Miami Heat in a meeting of opposing styles.

Catch the game tomorrow at 8:30 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Indiana Pacers (9-7, 3-2 AWAY)

Projected starting five:

  • Tyrese Haliburton
  • Buddy Hield
  • Bruce Brown
  • Obi Toppin
  • Myles Turner

The Pacers come in having alternated wins and losses over their last eight games. Make no mistake about it, though: there are no question as to who they are this season. Indy is the NBA’s newest offensive darlings, and the group is doing it in its purest form, scoring an NBA-best 127.6 points per game while allowing an NBA-worst 124.6 PAPG. It’s a classic case of “our best defense is great offense.”

Such is perhaps life when you let someone like Tyrese Haliburton loose. As one of the best guards today, the 23-year-old is clocking in  25.9 points and 11.9 assists per game on 51.9% shooting, including a smooth 45.9% from three. He has 12 double-doubles in just 15 games thus far. Seven other Pacers are averaging in double figures, as headlined by two-way center Myles Turner, sharpshooter Buddy Hield, and athletic swingman Ben Mathurin. 

With a highly capable offense, defense is and will always be a key for the Pacers. Allowing over 120 points every night isn’t the way to go. If they tap into stopping the opposition more, it’s anyone’s guess how good they can be.


HOME: Miami Heat (10-8, 4-2 HOME)

Projected starting five:

  • Kyle Lowry
  • Duncan Robinson (day-to-day) / Josh Richardson
  • Jimmy Butler (day-to-day) / Jaime Jaquez Jr.
  • Haywood Highsmith (day-to-day)
  • Bam Adebayo (day-to-day)

The Heat are looking to end a three-game skid. It’s been a terrible stretch as they failed to crack the century in the first two defeats, and were outplayed in the third one by the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo and company outscored them in the final three minutes, 16-6.

The injury bug is a pain in their behind as well. Aside from No. 2 scorer Tyler Herro (ankle) being out since November 9th, four other key guys are game-time decisions for tomorrow. The team’s Mr. Everything, Bam Adebayo (23.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG), is in that list, as well as leader and go-to guy, Jimmy Butler (20.7 PPG), and top shooter Duncan Robinson (18.4 PPG in his last 7). 

With all that, Kyle Lowry (two 20+ point games in his last 4), Josh Richardson (15.0 PPG in his last 4), and rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. (15.2 PPG in his last 10), will be the main guys should the starters be unavailable. All have been contributing nicely over the last couple of games.

Miami scores 110.6 PPG but allows 109.1 PAPG in return.


Handicap: The Heat (-2) don’t cover.

Over/Under: The total goes under 239.