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The Heat-Pacers series is the first conference semifinals matchup to be set in this season's NBA playoffs, but it wasn't supposed to be this way. Consensus had the Heat advancing out of the first round against pretty much any opponent, but the Magic were all set to rely on Dwight Howard to get them into the semis -- at least, until an awful lot of late-season drama and a year-ending injury sent Orlando against Indiana without its superstar. The Pacers will be facing a much tougher opponent, but can they pull it off?


Heat or Pacers?

The Pacers weren't the only team to advance to the second round against an injured team; the Heat faced a severely depleted Knicks team in the first round.

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Better bench?

The Heat have had questions about their bench since the news conference introducing their Big Three.

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Spoelstra or Vogel?

Frank Vogel has had a fair amount of success in his short coaching career, but Erik Spoelstra might have the tougher job, what with managing egos and the media in addition to his in-game duties.

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LeBron or Wade?

LeBron James' closing credentials have been called into question, although it was Dwyane Wade who missed a last-second shot in the series against the Knicks.

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