Sports

Down to the wire: Pacers and Heat prepare for Game 5 of East finals, as Spurs keep waiting

  • Miami Heat's LeBron James reacts after getting called for a foul during the second half against the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 99-92. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Miami Heat's LeBron James reacts after getting called for a foul during the second half against the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 99-92. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert reacts after the Pacers defeated the Miami Heat 99-92 in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert reacts after the Pacers defeated the Miami Heat 99-92 in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel reacts after a foul was called against the Pacers during the second half against the Miami Heat in  Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 99-92. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel reacts after a foul was called against the Pacers during the second half against the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 99-92. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

It's a different year, with different stakes, and having gone down a different path.

And nonetheless, four games between Miami and Indiana in a playoff series have decided nothing. In these Eastern Conference finals, just as was the case in the second round a year ago, the Heat and Pacers are knotted at two games apiece.

Game 5 is Thursday night in Miami.

The fifth game against the Pacers last season was an absolute romp for the Heat, who never trailed on the way to an easy 115-83 win.

But to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, that result couldn't be more irrelevant. He insists that the Heat are not comparing this series to last year in any way, and that the experience of last year "doesn't guarantee you anything now."