Once 19 games below .500, the Heat are on verge of playoffs

Goran Dragic blew up like his eye in Wednesday’s return to action against the Pelicans.

Stephenson, who has seen action in 12 games in 2016-17, appearing in a half-dozen contests apiece for the Pelicans and Timberwolves, gives an Indiana team which has given up 100 or more points in five of its last six while going 2-4 during the span another sizable, athletic defender who isn’t afraid to get into ballhandlers on the perimeter. It remains to be seen how much playing time he’ll command on a squad that includes not only George (22.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.2 apg) but serviceable wings Thaddeus Young and C.J. Miles, both of whom are averaging double-digits in scoring, to give a late-season boost to the league’s 19th-ranked offense. Stephenson’s 9.0 player efficiency rating this season will be the lowest on the Pacers’ roster.

The signing wreaks of a team, reaching to hold onto a playoff spot it knows could be slipping away. It’s a position the Pacers likely never thought they’d be, heading into the season with a healthy George, a blossoming big man in Myles Turner (14.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.1 bpg) and big-time Cheap Goalkeeper Jerseys Cheap Hockey Jerseys Canada free agent signee point guard Jeff Teague (15.4 ppg, 7.8 apg), but here they are.

There’s no telling where they’ll be come next offseason when George could exercise his player option and test the market as a restricted free agent. Adding Stephenson could be far too little, far too late.

Cavaliers (46-23) at Nuggets (33-37), 9 p.m. ET — Denver has won four of its last six games and could push the defending champs to the final buzzer. While the Cavaliers have clinched a playoff spot, the Nuggets are fighting for the final spot in the West. After causing a stir for resting their Big Three, the Cavs’ stars are expected to be at full strength Wednesday.