Ranking 4 potential Heat Play-In opponents by threat level

Taking a look at which Play-In teams would be the smallest and biggest threats to the Miami Heat.

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Most threatening: Indiana Pacers

Since the All-Star break, the Pacers rank eighth in net rating (plus-3.7), eighth in offensive rating (116.8) and 17th in defensive rating (113.2). 

That Indiana’s defense has improved from 26th in the league before the break, to close to league average could mean trouble for the Heat or any team that faces them in the play-in tournament.

Trading for Pascal Siakam in February has a lot to do with Indiana’s defensive improvement, and the team might be better if not for in-season tournament darling Tyrese Haliburton playing through a bothersome hamstring strain.

If Haliburton can find a way to return to his All-NBA caliber form, the Heat don’t need reminding of what he can do. Haliburton scored 44 points on 15 for 28 shooting to go along with 10 assists in these teams’ first meeting this season. Last season, Haliburton knocked off the Heat with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. 

A healthy Haliburton and Siakam cannot be counted out, and the pace the Pacers play with could take the Heat out of their comfort zone. The combination of star power, style of play and 3-point shooting is not one the Heat want to deal with in a one-game play-in.

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