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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
<center>
vs.

<center>

Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Conseco Fieldhouse
TV: WB4
Radio: WIBC</center>

<center>Probable Starting Lineups:

Pacers:


Anthony Johnson/Reggie Miller/Stephen Jackson/Scot Pollard/Dale Davis

Heat:


Dwyane Wade/Damon Jones/Eddie Jones/Udonis Haslem/Shaq

Pacers 92
Heat 91

Pacers Leading Scorer-Stephen Jackson (32)

Heat Leading Scorer- Shaq (35)</center>

Pacers Fan's Key Matchup: Shaquille O'Neal. One of the most dominant teams is coming off a loss to one of the league's worst teams, so they should come out pissed off. I wouldn't doubt Shaq going for 50+, but hopefully we can activate all our big men for this game for fouls. Scot Pollard will definately have a tough time guarding him, but he has the most experience guarding Shaq and is definately our best player. Hopefully this game Pollard doesn't take 4 elbows from Shaq without foul calls like in our first game of the season. Dwyane Wade is another option to consider, he scored 38 points, dished for 8 assists, and stole the ball 5 times in our last win against them...without Shaq.

The news that Jamaal Tinsley will miss the rest of the regular season, and possibly the playoffs, with a stretched ligament in his left foot means Anthony Johnson will lead the team from the point guard position for the foreseeable future. Considering how well he's handled the job for the past month, the Pacers should hardly skip a beat.

Johnson has averaged 13.5 points, 7.1 assists and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 55.8 percent from the field and 56 percent from the arc in the last 11 games, scoring in double figures in all but one (when he scored nine).

"A.J.'s playing well," said Stephen Jackson. "We have the same confidence in A.J. as we do in J.T."

The season started nightmarishly for Johnson, who broke a bone in his shooting hand and opened the year on the injured list. Upon being activated, he had to serve a five-game suspension for his role in the Nov. 19 incident in Detroit. When he finally took the court, a protective glove on his right hand led to shooting and ballhandling discomfort and his game suffered as a result. He shot 35.2 percent overall and 15.4 percent from the arc December and January but after abandoning the glove, he regained his confidence -- just in time.

The Pacers lost the first seven games Tinsley missed but Johnson broke through with 21-points and 7-of-7 shooting in a 95-94 victory over Dallas on Feb. 4 and has been on top of his game ever since. The Pacers are now 13-12 with Johnson starting; they were 22-18 with Tinsley.

"It feels very good just because I know there was a stretch where without Jamaal we were 0-7," Johnson said. "I really didn't pay attention to that but once they made that a point and tried to make it sound like we couldn't win without Jamaal, I took that as a slap in the face, not only against me but the rest of the team. I really wanted to step up to that challenge. "

The Pacers have won 11 in a row from Miami during the regular season but that streak will be challenged Thursday night. In the first two victories, both in overtime, Jermaine O'Neal and Tinsley combined for 85 points. Shaquille O'Neal missed the last matchup with a strained left knee. Though Eddie Jones suffered an ankle sprain Tuesday night against Toronto and his status is uncertain, Miami is at relative full strength.

"It doesn't matter how many times you beat a team in previous games, it's about who's better that day," said Stephen Jackson. "We have to be better because we need that game. It's way more important to us than to them. They're coming in here trying to win a game; we're coming in trying to keep our hope alive for the playoffs."

TRENDS

Pacers - Jackson has averaged 22.0 points in the last 13 games but has shot 34.4 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from the 3-point line in the last nine. ... Reggie Miller has averaged 19.8 points in the last 13. ... Fred Jones has averaged 13.0 points on 55.3 percent shooting in the last five. ... Austin Croshere has averaged 14.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in five games since returning to the starting lineup. ... Dale Davis has made 13-of-18 field goals (72.2 percent) in the last four games. ... Scot Pollard has totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds in 43 minutes in the last two. ... Eddie Gill is 5-of-31 from the field in his last 12. ... Jeff Foster has committed nine personal fouls in 22 minutes in the last two.

Heat - Wade has averaged 12.5 free-throw attempts in the last six games. ... Shaquille O'Neal has averaged 27.0 points and 13.2 rebounds in the last five while shooting 62.9 percent from the field. ... Damon Jones has averaged 10.8 points while making 8-of-15 from the arc (53.3 percent) in the last four. ... Udonis Haslem has shot 26.1 percent in the last four. ... In his last four appearances, Alonzo Mourning has totaled 36 minutes, 20 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.

SERIES

The Pacers have won the last 11 regular-season meetings between the teams, including a pair of overtime victories this season. They lead the Heat 39-22 in the all-time series, 26-5 at home. On Jan. 21 in Miami, the Pacers won 106-100 as Tinsley and Jermaine O'Neal combined for 56 points and the Heat's Eddie Jones missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation. On Feb. 23 in Conseco Fieldhouse, the Pacers won 93-91 as Jermaine O'Neal scored 29 and Shaquille O'Neal missed the game with a strained knee. This time, it was Wade who missed the potential game-winner, a 3-pointer at the end of overtime.

KEY MATCHUP

Bench - Though Miami's one-two punch of O'Neal and Wade can be overwhelming, the Heat sometimes struggle for help off the bench, a problem that could be exacerbated if Eddie Jones is unable to play. Fred Jones appears to have regained his energy after battling a couple of illnesses and needs to be a major factor for the Pacers.

INJURIES

Pacers - G Jamaal Tinsley (foot) is doubtful; F Jermaine O'Neal (shoulder), F Jonathan Bender (knee) and C David Harrison (knee) are on the injured list; F Ron Artest is on the suspended list.

Heat - F Eddie Jones (ankle) is questionable; F Christian Laettner (foot), F Dorell Wright (knee) and F Rasual Butler (knee) are on the injured list.
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/preview_050331.html
 

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Heat 98
Pacers 91

Haslem will start instead of Doleac. He has been pretty bad shooting the ball since he dislocated his shoulder in the Laker game. Hopefully he can regain the form that led to him shooting 53% this year.

Sucks to hear Tinsley is out, I like his game. You guys need to get healthy for the playoffs. If you hold onto the 7th seed, thats going to be one hell of a first round against the Pistons.
 

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Heat 108
Pacers 97
 

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Charge!
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This game is very hard to call. I'm thinking about making a modest eBookie bet and bucking the trend to throw big money on Miami. I would really love to see the Pacers knock of Miami, being short-handed and all. It would be nice to see Miller go off for 30+ points and even hit the game winner. It would also be gratifying to see Shaq be plagued by early foul trouble and miss some key free throws down the stretch.

I am in the minority on the board in general, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Indiana somehow finds a way to win this one. I just hope that the refs call a good game.

G-Force
 

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Charge!
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Tied at 33 in the second. I see the Shaqaliscious One is 1-4 from the free throw line. Wade just got his thrid steal, let's take care of the ball.
 

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God
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77-75 Indiana right now early in the 4th....

Come on Boys!!! Shaq only 14pts and 8 boards.

Miller 21pts, SJax 18
 

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God
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Just as i dissed Shaq, he starts to dominate. Heat are running away from this one boys.....

92-86 with 1:11 left
 

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Pacers on an 8-0 run right now in OT.
I wasn't able to watch much early on, but I've been glued to my seat of late.
Those were two big tripples by Jackson and Johnson.
Hope they can pull through and hang onto the lead.
 

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Feel the Rush!
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MAN! What a game! Where is everyone tonight?

Miami took an early lead in OT, but AJ and Jax hit a pair of 3s, then DD hit 2 free throws, we're up 106-102 with 1:19 left.

LET'S GO BOYS!!
 

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That's winner...114-108 after OT. What a game. MAN games like this get me pumped. Reggie was unbelievable again with 31 points. Jax hit those huge 3s for us tho. And AJ with 16 points, 13 assists, 3 boards, 2 steals.

What a game
 

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WOW what a game is right. Reggie Miller stole the show in OT.

Dale Davis, 13pts, 11boards

I LIKE IT!
 

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What a great game, Anthony Johnson is a very good backup pg.
 

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rock747 said:
What a great game, Anthony Johnson is a very good backup pg.

That's a pretty funny line to read, considering that for the first two thirds of the season everybody wanted a new backup pg instead of AJ. He really has stepped it up. I feel very comfortable having him run the point for us in the playoffs...verrry comfortable.
 

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StephenJackson said:
That's a pretty funny line to read, considering that for the first two thirds of the season everybody wanted a new backup pg instead of AJ. He really has stepped it up. I feel very comfortable having him run the point for us in the playoffs...verrry comfortable.
Same here, except Detroit, who will press and trap the hell out of him.
 
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