Two of the Pacers final three seeding games come against the Miami Heat, and that’s not all.

Indiana defeated the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, locking in a best-of-7 first-round Eastern Conference No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed playoff series between the Heat and Pacers that begins either Monday or Tuesday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Including their two matchups during seeding play this week, Miami and Indiana could face off as many as nine times in a span of 10 games.

The Heat and Pacers will see each other again before their playoff series begins next week, as the two teams also face off Friday at 4 p.m. to close seeding play.

The rivalry of TJ Warren and Jimmy Butler will continue with a best of seven series.  The Pacers and Heat have no love loss as they met several times between 2012-2014 in the NBA Playoffs.

In addition, the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds are locked into the half of the East bracket that includes the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The winner of the Heat-Pacers series will play the winner of the first-round series between the No. 1 Bucks and the No. 8 Orlando Magic in the second round.

If the regular season is any indication, Miami should enter the playoffs as the favorite in its opening-round matchup against Indiana. The Heat has defeated the Pacers in each of the teams’ first three matchups this season, including a 114-92 blowout win over Indiana on Monday during seeding play.

Reef’s Take: I do like Indiana to win this tough series in 6 or 7 games. It won’t be easy, but if the bench can continue to produce, this team will have a 2nd round matchup with the #1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. 

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