Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Pacers vs the Heat.
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami.
When: Saturday April 12, 00:30 BST
It’s all to play for at the top of the Eastern Conference, with the Miami Heat hosting rivals the Indiana Pacers on Friday night hoping to move ahead in the race for the top seed.
While neither team has particularly looked like a championship outfit over the past month or so, Pacers coach Frank Vogel will hope that his decision to hand his starters some rest this week will pay dividends.
Miami have lost 11 of their last 21 games while Indiana have dropped 12 of their last 20, and their meeting on Friday night will provide a big indication of who will have the No.1 seed in the East with less than a week until the regular season concludes.
The Pacers (54-25) are currently a half-game ahead of the Heat (53-25), with Miami forward Chris Bosh conceding that it is “going to be intense” with so much at stake.
Dwyane Wade has been ruled out which will mean the onus will fall on Bosh and LeBron James to lead the hosts, while the visitors will welcome back the likes of Paul George and Roy Hibbert after they were rested against the Milwaukee Bucks.
James insists that they aren’t too concerned with the No.1 seed as ultimately the reigning champions feel as though they can beat any team on any court if they are at full strength.
However, with Greg Oden and Chris Andersen likely to sit out due to flu and a knee problem respectively, they may suffer as a result of being short-handed.
It promises to be a tense yet exciting night in Miami on Friday, and with so much on the line both teams will be aware of how vital a win would be.