Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat - 5/20/14
Miami Heat (54-28) at Indiana Pacers (56-26)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
The Line: Indiana Pacers +2.5 -- Over/Under: 183.5 See the Latest Odds
The Miami Heat look to level the series at 1-1 tonight when they take on the Indiana Pacers for Game 2.
The Indiana Pacers finished off the regular season poorly and stumbled their way through the first two rounds of the playoffs, but nothing wakes them up like playing the Miami Heat. Paul George led six players in double figures with 24 points while David West and Roy Hibbert added 19 points apiece to give the Pacers the 107-96 win in Game 1. Defensively, the Pacers weren't at their best, but still managed to keep the Heat in check by keeping them off the charity stripe, but it was their offense that really impressed me. First and foremost, they got outscored by the Heat in the paint by 54-38, but what they did really well was use the inside pass to set up their perimeter players for wide open threes where they connected on eight of 19. Secondly, they shared the wealth because all six players who played more than 14 minutes finished in double figures and finally, they were just moving the ball so much better than they were in the first two rounds where they just weren't running their plays.
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As for the Heat, Dwyane Wade came to the party with a game-high 27 points while LeBron James added 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but the rest of the team just didn't score enough points. In fact, the next best player was actually Chris Andersen who scored 14 points in 19 minutes off the bench, compared to Chris Bosh who had just nine points and missed all five of his three-point shot attempts. Defensively, the Heat just couldn't play Shane Battier his usual minutes because they need more size to contend with the bigs of the Pacers, so you might see Udonis Haslem play a bigger role for the rest of the series if coach Spoelstra decides to change it up.
Game 1 reiterated to me that the Pacers absolutely love playing the Heat and are built specifically to take them down. However, even with Wade and LeBron playing so well, the Heat have so much room for improvement and will probably still win the series. I really don't know which team to side with in this one, but something tells me the Pacers can pull the upset once again tonight.