Dwyane Wade Says Playing the Pacers Now ‘Not a Big Deal’


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

The second matchup of the season between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference takes place Wednesday night in South Beach. There’s plenty of buildup and hype for the clash, but Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade refuses to buy into any of it.

According to Wade, playing against the Indiana Pacers in late December means little.

Per the Palm Beach Post:

“It’s a basketball game with two good teams — there’s a lot of that that goes on in the NBA,” he said after (Tuesday’s) practice. “It’s not a big deal. It’s not our championship, I’ll tell you that.” The “championship” line was a reference to Indiana’s Lance Stephenson overhyping last week’s game.

As for the Pacers’ ongoing talk about creating a rivalry with the Heat and beating them out for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference? “Everyone goes about it their own way,” he said. “We are not the kind of team or the kind of guys who talk about stuff. We just go do it. But they like to talk. If it works for them, it works for them. I don’t lose any sleep over talk. We just go out and play the game. They’re a good team. There’s no secret about it. They’re one of our bigger challenges. Hopefully it comes down to us and them to get to the Finals, and may the best team win.”

The Heat have taken this approach before when it comes to facing the Pacers, never wanting to give their rivals any added motivation when it comes to regular season battles. The real test, both sides know, will come in the Playoffs.

Tonight’s matchup may lack sizzle even without Dwyane Wade downplaying its importance: LeBron James has a sore left ankle, and is considered a game-time decision. Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, meanwhile, is questionable as he battles a bout of suspected food poisoning.