They will face each other four times during the regular season, with the next meeting in late March.

Even then, we may not have seen the real matchup between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. With one team still waiting to work a key player back and the other potentially introducing one into the rotation, Wednesday's game is just a shell of what could be.

"We're going to be a better team than we are now and they are, too," Heat center Chris Bosh said. "It's going to be a long time until we see their best and they see our best."

For all the talk of this being a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals, it could possibly turn into an even better series if both are able to incorporate a pair of players who aren't in the lineup. The Pacers have the head start, with All-Star forward Danny Granger returning early as later this week.

Granger last played March 3, long before the Pacers became a legitimate threat to the Heat. He missed all but five games in 2012-13 because of knee issues before finally undergoing season-ending surgery. Guard Paul George is now the go-to player, meaning Granger will have to adjust a new role.