The Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers are set to lock horns in the Eastern Conference finals starting Sunday evening.
Last season, Indiana pushed the Heat all the way in the conference finals, but the LeBron James-led side proved too hot for the Pacers and they eventually went on to win the series in the seventh game.
Miami has not been tested in the playoffs this season so far, as they have easily defeated the Charlotte Bobcats and the Brooklyn Nets in the first and second rounds, respectively.
On the other hand, Indiana faced a number of troubles in the playoffs. They have struggled offensively and failed to score enough points on a consistent basis.
Miami's James said the previous results will have no impact on the series as both teams are equally good and are capable of winning.
"Two best teams in the Eastern Conference. It's that simple," James said. "I mean both teams defend at a high level, both teams share the ball, both teams get into the paint, both teams have a desire to win, so that's why it's been equal."
The postseason hasn't been a smooth ride for the Pacers, as they have been tested by both the Atlanta Hawks and the Washington Wizards in the playoffs.
Lance Stephenson said the Pacers are heading into the conference finals as the underdogs. "I think we like being the underdogs," Stephenson said. "We like when everybody is talking about us. I think it makes our game a little bit better.
"It makes us want to go out and play harder, so I like being the underdog and everybody talking about us and trying to bring us down but we stay together as a unit, stay poised in the locker room. It just makes us stronger."
Indiana had given away the home-court advantage in the first game of both the postseason series and Paul George said they cannot show this complacency against the Heat in Game 1.
"We can't allow ourselves to come out flat," George said. "Whatever it is, we've got to find it and come out with energy- treat this one like its Game 7."
Miami's coach Erik Spoelstra said his team needs to play with a lot more fluency and aggression against the Pacers as they are an effective defensive outfit.
"That's a function of them being a very good defensive team," Spoelstra said. "If you don't move the defense and play with appropriate pace and ball movement, they can get you late in the clock taking the shots they want you to take."
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 3:30 pm ET (1:00 am IST, 7:30 pm GMT) start, with live coverage on Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India. The game can be watched via live streaming option HERE. The game can be live streamed by international viewers, including India, HERE.