The Miami Heat has a chance to close out their series against the Indiana Pacers tonight when just a week ago it looked as though the Heat and not the Pacers were down for the count.
With a 94-75 win last Thursday, the Pacers seized a 2-1 lead in the series and looked as though they had broken Miami's will. Chris Bosh was out, Dwayne Wade was hurting and the aggressive Pacers looked to be too much for Miami.
But the Heat came out and won two straight games by convincing margins and now it is Pacers stars Danny Granger and David West who are hurting with leg injuries.
Granger has a sprained left ankle and though he said he intends to play, the Pacers aren't quite so confident. When the team practiced on Wednesday, Granger watched in flip-flops and said he was on pain-killers and anti-inflammatory medication.
Lance Stephenson, who was close lined at the end of game five by Dexter Pittman also, did not practice, though x-rays ruled out a collar bone fracture.
The Heat will be without Pittman, who was suspended three games for that hit, as well as Udonis Haslem who was slapped with a one game ban for his flagrant foul on Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough also had his flagrant foul raised from a one to a two by the league after game five.
For game six, the Pacers are back home and are hoping that they can repeat the success they had when they rode a raucous home crowd as well as 19 points and 18 boards from Roy Hibbert to a game three victory.
Where to watch: The game can be viewed online at www.firstrowsports.eu/sport/basketball.html. It will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.
Prediction: The Pacers still have some fight in them, and the crowd inside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse has the ability to affect a game. The Pacers will also benefit from the Haslem suspension as it severely limits big men options for Miami.
Predicted Score: Indiana over Miami 100-95