NBA Playoffs 2013 schedule: Can the Heat close out the Pacers on the road?


The Miami Heat are one win away from another trip to the NBA Finals, but they will face another tough challenge on the road from the Indiana Pacers.

The Miami Heat need one more win to make their third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals as they return to Indianapolis for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers. Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

The Heat are familiar with handling the ups and downs of a long playoff run, as well as closing out opponents to advance. In the second round of last year's playoffs, Miami closed out Indiana in Game 6 after Dwyane Wade exploded for 41 points and the Pacers wilted under the pressure after a strong third-quarter run.

This is a different series, though. Many of the names remain the same, but their impact this year has changed. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra knows the Heat will have to come together for a strong effort to get past the Pacers in a raucous Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

"Our experience in a lot of different situations has taught us a lot." Spoelstra said, via the Sun-Sentinel. "It doesn't guarantee us anything and we know that the toughest teams to play are the ones that are on their last stand. We can expect a great environment. We need to have a collective resolve to get it done."

The Pacers remain confident they can push the series back to Miami for Game 7, which is no surprise with coach Frank Vogel continuing to motivate his team.

"We're still encouraged," Vogel said on Friday, via "We know we have to play great to beat this team, we know we didn't play well enough to do it, we're confident that we can."

"It's not false talk. There's a reason I'm confident. I like to tell these guys I'm not an optimist. That's what my image is. I'm a realist and when I look around at what I see in the room when I'm talking to this team or what I see on the court and the level of execution that we're capable of and the adjustments that make sense with our coaching staff, which I think my three assistant coaches are the best in the NBA, the intelligence that they bring to the table combined with the talent we have on this basketball team gives me real confidence in this basketball team."

The Pacers appeared to lose that confidence in Game 5 when LeBron James lit up the third quarter to raise the intensity and level of play for the Heat. Indiana's poor response leaves them with their backs against the wall, while the Heat can smell the finals. With motivation in abundance for both teams, Game 6 should add another entertaining chapter to this intense Eastern Conference Finals series.

Heat vs. Pacers, Game 6

Game time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Miami opened as a three-point favorite

More from SB Nation:

LeBron 2.0: How James dominated all facets of Game 5

LeBron returns to "Cleveland days" | Ziller: Suspend Birdman

Rudy Gay trade columns continue to haunt the internet

Twitter dating: Quincy Pondexter asks out Miss Tennessee

NBA mock draft 2013: Going away from the consensus | SB Nation's Big Board

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.