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Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers Can Still Benefit From Meaningless Finale

The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers face each other one last time before their first-round postseason series next week

In a normal season, this would have been a game with serious implications.

In year's past, Friday's matchup between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers would determine which team had homecourt advantage for their first-round playoff series that starts Tuesday in Orlando. Because of the bubble situation, the game means nothing.

Still, the teams feel they have something to gain.

"It's a chance to get healthy. We have to look at that," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. "We also want to compete, so it's not like we're going to take this game off. There's some guys that we may need to look at cutting their minutes or resting them due to some injuries and some fatigue. The guys that are out there, we want to work and compete."

The Heat will likely take the same approach. It could also provide opportunity for guard Kendrick Nunn to get some minutes before playing in his first NBA postseason. Nunn, who started 66 games, had a difficult experience in the restart. He missed the first two weeks of training camp after testing positive for COVID-10. He then left the bubble last week because of a personal matter and has missed the last three games.

The regular season finale is one of potentially nine games between the teams in three weeks. They also played Monday, so this is another opportunity to get familiar.

"For me, it's going to be about processing the game, processing their plays, processing people's tendencies, processing the adjustments they're making throughout the game," Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon said. "Just so I can understand them a little bit throughout the playoffs."

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