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Heat go Bosh-less for Game 2, but is that enough for Pacers?

May 15, 2012, 2:50 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

Indiana didn’t beat Miami in Game 1, but it put up a respectable showing on the road and that was with the team’s leading scorer — Danny Granger — being bottled up by the Heat defense.

Now comes Game 2 and the Heat will be without Chris Bosh (strained abdominal). It changes the equation. For all the people that piled on Bosh this season as a third wheel the statistics bear out they were just flat out better with him on the floor. Without him them take a step back.

Is that step enough for the Pacers to win Game 2 in Miami and even the series Tuesday night? I didn’t say that.

But maybe. This series got a lot tighter with Bosh out.

All the focus is on Bosh and how the Pacers will try again to exploit their size advantage, giving the rock more to center Roy Hibbert. Which they should. But what the Pacers need more of is Granger getting points. The slashing wing was the Pacers leading scorer at 18.7 points per game during the season, but he had just 7 points on 1-10 shooting in Game 1. Indy needs production from him.

That could be impacted by Bosh’s absence — LeBron James will move to the four and David West after he blanketed Granger in Game 1. Thing is Shane Battier also put the clamps on Granger in Game 1. It’s no easy task. Still, expect Granger to find some room, expect Pacers coach Frank Vogel to come up with sets that get him space.

The convention wisdom is right, too —Vogel would be wise to go inside also. Use the size advantage. But more than just Hibbert, the Pacers need to look to David West, the former All-Star who will now see a lot of LeBron James — try to get LeBron in foul trouble. The loss of Bosh hurts the Heat’s depth and if LeBron or Dwyane Wade get in foul trouble things really get dicey for the Heat.

In the end, however, the Heat are still a good team that even without Bosh can create turnovers and get out and run. They are still a matchup nightmare — look for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to go to his lineup of four guys 6’7” to 6’9” with Wade. It’s a hard group to keep up.

For all the changes this remains a series about tempo — the Pacers have to grind it out in the halfcourt not get into a track meet. If the Pacers turn the ball over and the Heat get easy transition buckets this is going to get ugly. You also can expect the Heat to knock down some threes (they missed all theirs in Game 1).

The Pacers have a better shot now. They need Hibbert and West to really exploit their size advantage, they need Granger to contribute more, they still need to play near perfect ball. But this is not a mismatch, the Pacers are in this. Always were, but now they are closer. We’ll see if they are close enough.

  1. dgbk - May 15, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    ppl act like bosh is not that important yes wade and lebron are all world…. but he bails them out on a lot of bad drives and kick outs…. there isnt another 4 who can hit 18-19 ft jump shotd all day maybe pau gasol or zac in memphis….. haslem and anthony bring nothing but hustle plays to the table… i see the heat winning the series but i see them losing a close game tonight while they adjust with out him

  2. rodge1 - May 15, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Not enough for Pacers to win series. They will be strong contender next year though. They have talent but lack experience. Miami’s biggest problem now is not being able to rest LeBron & D Wade enough. Will be much more apparent in the finals.

  3. jimmymarlinsfan - May 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I just can’t see the Heat losing at home to the Pacers in the playoffs…the complimentary pieces on the team will pick it up

  4. jh4prez - May 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    4 games.

  5. lucidsportsfan - May 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I don’t think the Bosh injury will effect Miami at all. They go as Lebron goes: http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2011_06_12_archive.html#2049941527228952857

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - May 15, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Pacers win tonight, Games 3 and 4 at home, Miami feeds off the sparse crowd at home in Game 5, and Pacers close it out in Game 6.

    • comeonnowguys - May 15, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      When did medical marijuana become legal in Indiana?

    • heat256 - May 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Unless the Heat win. Then it’s the refs fault. Because that’s how this idiot rolls. Why haven’t you been institutionalized yet? You obviously need it.

    • chrisppers - May 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      If the pacers win tonight, and I think its 50/50, they win the series because the heat truly feed off their own crowd and with the losing home court, i’m not so sure they’ll get one in Indiana either.

    • soflasfinest - May 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      Mr. Wrong, do YOU even believe the crap that comes out of your mouth??? Bc I along with many others on here don’t

    • mrwrightsdad - May 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Son we need to talk. I thought you were working your job as a sign holder and now i see you are blogging.

  7. miamatt - May 15, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Blah Blah Blah, this still has sweep written all over it. If the Pacers are able to make this a six game series that would be a tremendous accomplishment.

    Sorry, but Roy Hibbert isn’t gonna give you 30 and 15, and Granger can’t come close to matching what the Heat have on the wings.

  8. massivedick - May 15, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    they don’t need little foot to lose the series .. bron bron will do just fine

  9. davidly - May 15, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    For all the people that piled on Bosh this season as a third wheel the statistics bear out they were just flat out better with him on the floor. Without him them take a step back.
    Except in the 2nd half of game 1 of this series, that is.

  10. lakerluver - May 15, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    If the Pacers can’t beat them without Posh they don’t deserve to even be in the playoffs. The East sucks anyway.

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