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Heat and Pacers Play for Eastern Conference Crown

The Miami Heat host the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night at 8:30 EST to kick off the Eastern Conference Finals, with a good bit of trash talk going back and forth between the two sides prior to the start of the series.

Most of the conversation has centered around comments by Pacers head coach Frank Vogel and Heat star LeBron James. After beating the Knicks to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, Vogel called the Heat, “the next team that’s in our way and that’s how we’re approaching it.”

James took umbrage to those comments, perhaps bending them a little bit (or having a reporter bend them in a question) in order to create some bulletin board material.

James said, “We’re not just another team. I don’t understand what he’s saying, but we’re not just another team. It’s not true.”

James continued, saying, “He said we’re just another team in their way. We’re not just another team. We’re a great team. We’re very confident.”

James suggested that the Pacers better be prepared for more than just another team, but Vogel was quick to point out on Monday that he never referred to the reigning champs as such.

“Sorry sports world, the words ‘just another team’ never came out of my mouth,” Vogel said. “Great respect for [LeBron James] and the champs. Looking forward to [a] great series.”

These two teams met last season, with the Pacers pushing the Heat to six games before Miami prevailed en eventual route to the NBA Finals and a championship.

During the regular season, the Pacers took two out of three from the Heat. They did so largely by slowing down the pace of the games and hitting the boards hard, taking more than 33 percent of the offensive boards and nearly 58 percent overall.

The catch is that the Heat don’t want to run up and down the floor and won’t push the tempo too much in that fashion, but they would like to see more possessions then they had in the regular season.  Find out which tempo and team will prevail and get your tickets today for the Eastern Conference Finals!

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