There's been no shortage of drama in the Heat-Pacers series, and the leadup to this afternoon's pivotal Game 4 has been no exception. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Juwan Howard and Lance Stephenson, who directed a choking gesture at LeBron James during Game 3, had a verbal altercation 90 minutes prior to tipoff, the latest chapter in a history of animosity between the two. With Erik Spoelstra going to his fourth staring lineup in four games this series, let's check in on the rumors surrounding these playoff combatants:
- Bob Finnan of The News-Herald believes Hornets restricted free agent Eric Gordon, thought to be a Pacers target, might not get a max deal because of the knee problems he's dealt with the past two seasons. Finnan could see the Hornets and Pacers working out a sign-and-trade with Danny Granger headed to New Orleans, Gordon going to Indiana and Pacers shooting guard Paul George shifting to small forward.
- HoopsWorld's Stephen Litel argues that the Heat should try to trade Dwyane Wade if the team fails to come back to win the series.
- Shaun Powell of NBA.com says team president Pat Riley failed to stock the roster with competent role players, and that's one of the reasons Heat coach Erik Spoelstra may lose his job if he doesn't deliver a title.