The Indiana Pacers gave the Miami Heat a beating last night. I didn’t watch the whole game fortunately, because I didn’t want to expect to see Lebron James give out an awesome performance. It turns out that the Indiana Pacers kept charging at Lebron James and made him pick up six fouls and James fouled out of the game. The Pacers win this game 99-92 because they did not get rattled when Miami made their scoring runs. The Pacers expected the Miami Heat to get their points in spurts and it showed. Indiana made sure they would stand the scoring runs made by Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat and absorbed the hit. Then Pacers coach Frank Vogel had his Pacers squad slowly build up their lead again until all 48 minutes were run out. It is a smart strategic play on Frank Vogel’s part because Erik Spoelstra doesn’t know what to expect from playing with a balanced and scoring Indiana Pacers team. Sometimes I wonder if Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows its five-on-five basketball. With a star studded cast with Dwyane Wade and Lebron James and Chris Bosh scoring all the major goodies, you have to wonder, how are the other supporting role players contributing to the Miami offense and on defense. How is Miami defending the titan 7-2 giant Roy Hibbert and Lebron James expanding energy to chase down Paul George and Dwyane Wade running on defense against Lance Stephenson? Miami started the game slowly and they let up. They let the Pacers have the first go at scoring. The Heat didn’t score first. Starting game 5, the Miami Heat must get their scoring up in order to win the game. They must start the game with defense, because when Lebron James gets up and down the court with those chase-down blocks and Wade does the same with steals, the Heat are unstoppable. Ray Allen gets open looks at the basket, Shane Battier will be able to make perimter shots, and so does Mario Chalmers. We haven’t seen a Miami onslaught since Game 3 when the Heat won the game 114-96.
I have to say, the series is far closer than it is 2-2. I think the Pacers have a slight upper hand at this series, than the Miami Heat do, because the Pacers have a bench mob that is able to defend Ray Allen consistently and making sure that the Heat shooters like Mike Miller, James Jones, and Rashard Lewis do not get open looks consistently all night. Except for Games 1, 2, and 4, the Heat broke out with a flurry of three pointers in a convincing win in Game 3. Paul George uncharacteristically showed he was angry after a foul he made in the third quarter. The Pacers want this game. Indiana wants Miami to know that they are for real. Now, the Pacers have the Heat’s number. Can Miami answer the call in Game 5?