PACERS (2-6) AT HEAT (5-2), 7:30 p.m., Sun Sports, ESPN
LINE: Heat by 8 1/2 (Opened at 10.)
OFFICIALS: Scott Foster, Eric Lewis, Eli Roe
WHY WATCH: The Pacers are bruised and broken to begin the season, but tonight's nationally televised game is still the first matchup between the Heat and Pacers since last season's Eastern Conference finals.
SPO-SPEAK: “It’s still Indiana, so you know they’re going to bring it defensively,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re not going to allow you to have easy opportunities on the paint. You’re going to have to work your offense with force, with poise and the ball is going to have to move. The more shortcuts you try to take, the more it plays right into their hands.”
ON THE 5-2 START: “It’s not even about that right now,” Spoelstra said. “It’s about our habits. Are we coming in to work to get better? And the guys have been great. They have a real lunch pail, hardhat mentality to come in here and work and work the process to try to get better.
“You’re seeing some of the improvement, but we have a long way to go, particularly on the defensive end. And there is no shortcut to it. You just have to put in the time. You have to put in the sweat equity.”