Dec 18, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) both chase a loose ball during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With Win vs Pacers, Heat Control Destiny

When the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers face off tonight, a lot will be on the line. Confidence, for one. Bragging rights, too. Also, something more tangible will be at stake.

Home court.

The Heat are currently a game behind Indiana in the loss column in the Eastern Conference standings. Miami, at 48-21 following an energizing win against the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night, have played two fewer games than the 51-20 Pacers.

With a win, the Heat would hand the Pacers there 21st loss and take a 2-1 lead in the season’s four-game series.

With a loss, Miami would fall two games back in the loss column and could, at best, hope for a tie in the series.

This is a chance for the Heat to gain two steps rather than one. To shove the Pacers back and cut them in line for the No. 1 seed.

As the season winds down, the Heat have an easier schedule with opponents winning a combined 48 percent of their games. Indiana’s slate of opponents have won a combined 52 percent of games, per

A win tonight gives Miami the edge. It puts them in the drivers seat. Not exactly with the top down, going 10 over on I-95, but still with the advantage.

I haven’t even mentioned the statement a win would make.

If Miami is in playoff mode, they will come out looking more like the did against Portland and resemble less of the hot mess Miami was in New Orleans a few nights ago.

A lot is on the line tonight. It should be fun.

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