The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are back in action Friday after a thrilling game that came down to overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron James' layup with only seconds left gave Miami a 1-0 lead in the series, and now they'll look to take a 2-0 lead by sweeping the first two games in Miami.
It was horrible and wonderful all at once. I don't know how long it will last, but I hope it's here for awhile. Although it ended in heartbreak last night, it felt good to be a little kid again, so thoroughly invested in one of the most extrinsically meaningless creations of our modern society. In the end, I'd have loved a Pacers' win. But I'll settle for a beautiful reminder that in sports, emotion is not just a variable. It's what binds me to the sport. It's what binds me to the players, and them to each other. It's what holds the whole damn thing together.
Game 2 is Friday in Miami at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
Falling into a 0-2 hole against the defending NBA champions is not a place the Pacers want to be as Miami has steamrolled through the playoffs. They've lost a total of two games since April and only one game (Game 1 against the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals) in the playoffs. The Heat have won four straight games against each of their previous opponents in the playoffs.
Will the Pacers bounce back and finish the job they started in Game 1? Can Miami take both games in the series before heading to Indiana? Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals should be another must-watch playoff game.
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Heat opened as 7-point favorites, via Oddsshark.com