The Indiana Pacers find themselves in an 0-2 hole in the NBA playoffs following Thursday’s loss to the Miami Heat and will need three players to step up.
This season created another chapter in the Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat historic rivalry, this time courtesy of T.J. Warren and Jimmy Butler after their scuffle in January of this year. The Heat took the regular-season series from the Pacers this year, going 3-1, their only loss coming on the final day of the regular season with a majority of the starters out.
As faith would have it, that victory earned the Pacers the Eastern Conference’s 4-seed, giving them “home court” advantage over the 5-seed Miami Heat. While most expected this to be a competitive, gritty, and down to the wire series given the history between the two, the Heat have handled their business so far with little resistance from the Pacers.
Going up 2-0 in the series, the Miami Heat now have a controlling lead over the Indiana Pacers, who have struggled against their familiar foe drastically. Indiana has undoubtedly missed the presence of first-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis, but this is a team that went an impressive 6-2 in the eight seeding games without him regardless.
Crawling out of this 0-2 deficit will be a daunting task for the Pacers, but it is certainly possible. This Indiana team has more than enough to get them over the hump, but it is going to take a renowned effort from some of their key rotational players, who looked like shells of themselves in these first two games.
Without further ado, here are three players for the Indiana Pacers that need to step up for them to potentially fight their way back from their current predicament against the Miami Heat.