Kevin Love is a prototypical high-low basketball player who can run up and down the court and with his perimeter shooting and picks, he’ll be tough to defend with Lebron James there with the Cavs. James Jones and Mike Miller joined Lebron James in Cleveland, so expect picking up Jones and Miller with open three-pointers when James and Love are double-teamed. I can see free agent Ray Allen joining Cleveland now.
This is one of the best possible moves that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has made. He made room for a perimeter shooter in Mike Miller and sent his rebounding hound and defensive backup in Udonis Haslem to the bench. Spoelstra hasn’t sent in his energy guy, Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen into the game, both instances in which Miami won Game 4 and San Antonio in turn winning Game 5. What’s up with that? I think Spoelstra needs Andersen to guard Tim Duncan, because he will help Miami out with his energy and rebounding and defense.
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?
Indiana rode the strength of Roy Hibbert and David West and Paul George last night in Game 2. Whenever Lebron James and Dwyane Wade got into the paint, they were met by Roy Hibbert’s whose interior presence affected the Miami Heat’s game. Hibbert had a big scoring game and his height really took a toll and beating on Miami’s smaller defenders like Udonis Haslem. In the end of this exciting basketball game, Miami made two errors on Lebron James passing the ball in crunch time. They failed to recognize that Indiana surrounded him with help defenders so that James would be unable to complete his layup twice. Indiana’s defense sealed their win in Game 2. Indiana prevented Miami’s sharpshooters from taking three pointers and further allowed Wade or James to penetrate into the lane and get off their shots in the lane where the 7-2 Roy Hibbert waits. This was a defining win for Indiana, because Indiana coach Frank Vogel wants Lebron James to eat his words for knowing that the Pacers have a choke hold on this series and Indiana really wants to show the Heat that they are an elite team. Of course Miami has no one’s respect, because they’re the defending champs. Indiana doesn’t care about earning Miami’s respect,, they want to get there in a hurry by beating the Heat in four games and showing their basketball dominance in the NBA Finals. Indiana stole home court and now they can do more damage in Games 3 and 4 in Indiana. Here’s where they can harm Lebron James: beat him with more than one help defender and then rush back to their outside shooters when James kicks out the basketball to shooters like Mike Miller and Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers. The Indiana Pacers did that really well in Game 2 and it showed.
I guarantee it. There’s no one on this planet who can stop Lebron James. You can only hope to contain him. He and Dwyane Wade are an unstoppable force, forces only met by challenges from within will the Miami Heat championship be thwarted on their way to their second consecutive NBA title. With the ‘Birdman’ Chris Andersen and shooters like Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, and James Jones and role players like Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, Chris Bosh, and Shane Battier, they will be tough to beat when you have an ultra fast break with James and Wade on the wings and shooters challenging you to put in the basket as fast as Allen, Miller, Lewis, Chalmers, and Jones can put it in.
The Miami Heat signed Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Crazy! This is one full Miami Heat team that has Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Shane Battier, and Mario Chalmers. With bench players like Norris Cole, James Jones, and Mike Miller, the Heat can’t go wrong. I expect the Miami Heat to play with all of its offensive weapons, because this team can put on a spectacular scoring showcase. The Mavericks signed Chris Kaman, a center who can help Dirk Nowitzki. Ryan Anderson, a scoring big man, signed with the New Orleans Hornets now. Jason Kidd signed with the New York Knicks. There are a lot of NBA players changing teams now.
The Miami Heat really controlled Game 5. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade ran havoc all over OKC. They scored buckets, they played defense, they ran the basketball court in their own pace, and they made sure OKC made tough baskets. They deserved to win the NBA title. They ran set plays, they made Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook make tough shots. The Heat ran up and down the court to get open shots. Heat players Shane Battier and Mike Miller made open three pointers.