Boy, did the Indiana Pacers show up to play basketball. They made sure that the Miami Heat took tough shots and made tough shots. This one has to be on Miami because they wanted to clinch a ticket to the NBA Finals. The Heat failed at all costs. With Roy Hibbert and David West standing up to the star-stellar Miami Heat, there’s no stopping what the Indiana Pacers can do physically. Repeatedly, the Pacers punished the Heat by moving the ball inside the paint where Hibbert and West can get their post points. The Pacers contained the Heat’s outside shooters and made Shane Battier and Ray Allen use their energy on defense so they wouldn’t be able to hoist up three-pointers. This Game 6 will be on Miami, if the Heat do not win Game 7 in a winner-takes-all. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade did not bring their best games.
What to expect in Game 6 tonight:
1. See that the Indiana Pacers take care of the basketball.
2. Lebron James has another breakout game.
3. Dwyane Wade contributes in some way to help Miami win.
4. Roy Hibbert has a big game against Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony.
5. See that Dwyane Wade and Lebron James run their patent fast break.
6. See that the Indiana Pacers run their offense with balanced scoring.
7. Watch and see if the physical Roy Hibbert and David West do try and take Lebron James out with their bigger frames.
8. Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, and Ray Allen need to step up and hit their outside shots in order Miami wins Game 6.
9. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade playing outstanding perimeter defense so the Heat can generate fast break points.
10. D.J. Augustin and George Hill must have good games for Indiana to force a Game 7.
1. Expect another tough physical battle between David West and Lebron James and Roy Hibbert and Dwyane Wade and Lance Stephenson.
2. Expect three-point shooters for Miami to get wide open so Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and co. can knock them down.
3. See that Lebron James and Dwyane Wade run their patent fast break.
4. See that the Pacers do not turn the basketball over and play smart 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?
The Heat went back to their game of fast break basketball with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade passing the ball to each other. The Heat are the victors of Game 3, because they imposed their will and presence over the Indiana Pacers and they made their perimeter shots and Chris Bosh and all the Heat role players like Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, and Ray Allen hit down open shots in transition. When all was said and done, the Pacers were unable to comply with the Miami offense, because the Heat were hitting on all cylinders. The Heat defense was subpar at best, because they rely on Lebron James and Dwyane Wade’s athleticism and speed to help them generate steals and blocks.
The Heat need to keep Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph off the boards.
Lebron James and Dwyane Wade need to run and push the ball to play up-tempo.
Neutralize Zach Randolph’s interior post play.
Ray Allen, Norris Cole, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh, Rashard Lewis, and James Jones need open shots for James and Wade to be effective with their passing.
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.