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NBA Playoffs: Heat advance to the Eastern Conference Finals behind Wade’s 41 points

May 24, 2012, 11:36 PM EDT

Heat Pacers Game 6

Exactly one week ago, Dwyane Wade was held to five points on 2-13 shooting as the Pacers mauled the at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse to take a 2-1 series lead. Tonight, Wade flipped script on the Pacers, and ended their season in the process as the Heat won game 6 by a final score of 105-93.

Wade was absolutely electric in Game 6 in a way that only Wade can be. When Wade’s mid-range jumper is working, he’s almost completely impossible to stop, and his jumper was working like gangbusters. Wade went glass from mid-range time and time again, and the results were positive, to say the least — Wade made all 8 of his mid-range jumpers from the left side of the court, which allowed him to get into the paint with impunity and completely pick apart the Pacers’ defense. Wade finished with 41 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 17-25 from the floor, and his offensive onslaught is the primary reason why the Heat won Game 6.

LeBron James didn’t match Wade’s output, but he had an excellent game as well, recording 28 points, 6 rebounds, and a game-high 7 assists for the Heat. It’s not often that you’ll see a 3-time MVP put up that kind of a statline in a close-out playoff game and be a complete non-story after the game, but that’s what makes this Heat team so unique.

With LeBron and especially Wade both having great games, the Heat didn’t need much out of their supporting cast, and they got what they needed from the three-point shooting of Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers. Chalmers has been inconsistent throughout the playoffs, and the perpetually banged-up Mike Miller has been a massive disappointment throughout his time with the Heat, but the two combined to make all seven of Miami’s three-pointers on just 11 attempts between them. Miller’s shooting in particular was a pleasant surprise — Miller shot 4-7 from beyond the arc, which is just the third time Miller has made four or more threes in a game since signing with the Heat.

Shane Battier came back to earth in a major way in Game 6 — he was forced to play 40 minutes thanks to Udonis Haslem and only shot 1-7 from the field while allowing David West to score 24 points on 10-16 shooting, but Chalmers and Miller were able to pick up the slack for him and give LeBron and Wade enough support to close out the series.

Outside of strong performances from West and George Hill, who finished the game with 18 points, the Pacers didn’t have much going for them. Roy Hibbert had just 12 points on 8 field goal attempts. Danny Granger shot 6-14. The Pacer bench was outscored by Miami’s. The Pacers are a young, deep, good team that had a serious chance in this series, especially after Bosh went down, but they ultimately simply didn’t have the firepower to keep up with what James and Wade were able to do. This is a very, very, good basketball team, but they might need a lot of things to go their way if they ever want to seriously contend for a championship with their relative lack of star power.

Miami will now move onto the Eastern Conference Finals against either the Celtics or the 76ers, and will almost certainly be sizable favorites against either team, even though early reports indicate that Chris Bosh will not be back for either of the first two games of the series. Miami should feel good about this series victory, and neither Boston or Philadelphia looks all that menacing right now, but this is no time for the Heat to rest on their laurels. They’re still missing the 3rd member of their “big three,” they’re about to go up against one of the 3 best defensive teams in the league this season, and they’re only one home loss in the first two games away from finding themselves on the back foot in the series. And the Heat know better than anyone that any finish other than a championship will be a complete failure for them.

  1. mikejd12 - May 25, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    Great game bye the heat…glad they put the crap talking pacers in there place…..pacers coach talked crap before the series started, granger ran his mouth getting in there faces in game 1. Then again in game 2…..thats when wade had enough and charged a dude….then again in game three. And in game 4 the whole team had enough. They came out and dominated them mentally and physically, and all of a sudden the heat are the bad guys! Anyone talks that much to me I’m coming out and playing the same way. And yet again the pacers talk crap to wade just like before half of game 4…and the guy goes off. Maybe they will learn to keep there mouths shut. To much talking now enough playing…..on to the next one. Oh yeah and all the haters are already talking about the finals and the heat loading to okc and the spurs. One…your acknowledging the heat are gonna make it there with no bosh (thanks for the support) and two you act like they have no chance to beat either of those teams. They beat each one during the season…Sooo go back to your teams wagon and stop walking around mine checking out my wooden wheels!

  2. mikejd12 - May 25, 2012 at 7:57 AM


  3. gmsingh - May 25, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    When DWade holds his finger up in the air ( is he saying “We’re no. 1!” or “Hi, I played one good game!”?

    • blueintown - May 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      …or maybe he was indicating the number of games you actually watched this series. But even one may have been pushing it.

      • gmsingh - May 26, 2012 at 4:39 PM

        I think Wade likes women, so I assume you’re out of luck.

      • blueintown - May 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

        Interesting perspective, gmsingh. You are just full of reasonable basketball insight.

  4. udogg - May 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Wade and James made it more than clear that they are 2 of the very best players in the world…when they want to be.

    When they are on their game and their supporting cast plays good defense, they should win.

    While I don’t want to make this the key part of the comment, their star power does afford them calls or non-calls (on d) that others don’t get, and they are good enough to take advantage of it.

    When they reach the finals (and isn’t that a foregone conclusion), I wonder if they will have enough left in their tank to challenge effectively. I am guessing they won’t, although the return of Bosh will be very helpful.

  5. ceschatz - May 25, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    The way the heat played the last 3 games, im confused on how anybody could think that they couldnt compete with the west. Why? Because the spurs swept 2 teams that are mediocre at most? OKC beat the lakers, but even they are obviously out of their prime. The Heat beat both these teams in the regular season, i see no reason why they cant win 4 out of 5. You people love to hate.

    • scalfor3 - May 25, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      because they melted in the finals last year against a dallas team that wasnt as good as either of the teams left in the west

  6. canehouse - May 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    What an amazing performance by WADE!
    So long you slack jawed drooling rube pacer fans!!!!

    • dexterismyhero - May 25, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Great game by both Wade and James. Hats off to the Heat.

      Thumbs down to canehouse for your comments about Pacer Fans.

      Just downright ignorant.

  7. southbeachtalent - May 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Great series, the adversity we faced can only help. Hats off to Wade for bringing back the flash we’re used too. LBJ was great as usual, and the bench stepped up.

    Game ball..Haslem. Nice move Spo!

    Still got the hardest part to go. LETS GO HEAT!!!

    • udogg - May 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      WE??? Which one are you?

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        Us against the world

  8. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    From Heat fan to Pacer fan: Great series. The Pacer fan is a good fan. All the A-Holes on these boards are just Anti-Heat fans and their A-Holeness brings out the A-Holeness in us. You guys (dexterismyhero and gostlcards5 in particular) were innocent bystanders getting hit with our schrapnel. Once again, sorry you had to put up with it.

    But let me say a few things about the actual Pacers.

    1. They’re not up and coming. They came. Without a guy who can take over a game, this is as far as they get. They’re good. But considering their strength are the power positions and they lost convincingly to the Heat without Chris Bosh and (for 1 game) Udonis Haslem; and how they struggled with a Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic; I think we need to tone down how bright their future is. They’re good. They’ll win alot of games. But unless they get an Alpha-Dog stud, they’re not going to be great.

    2. They played this series undisciplined and ended it classless. How many technical fouls are you going to give away? Especially in Game 6 when you know the refs are going to watch for it, George gets a taunting Tech, and West gets another for smacking Battier in the head with an open palm. How stupid is that? And then most of the team walks off the court at the end without shaking hands? Who the hell do they think they are? Can you imagine if Miami did that? If Miami leaves the court without shaking hands, the reaction from the public would be way worse than when George Bush started a war with Iraq over WMDs that didn’t exist.

    3. When you’re an underdog, you have to embrace that role. You can’t be an underdog and be a bully. A real bully isn’t afraid of a fake bully, but they are afraid of an upstart underdog. Indiana gave their mental edge away after Game 3 and the Heat wouldn’t give it back. Plus Lebron and Wade are simply unspeakably good.

    So now we get to deal with Philly Fan or Boston Fan. Jesus H. Christ.

  9. puckthefatriots - May 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Amazing how Wade’s knee problems disappeared when his jumpshot started falling

  10. florida727 - May 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I’m not a Heat fan at all, but I do tip my hat to them for fighting back and beating a dangerous team. I think they’ll blow through either the Sixers or the Celtics, but they will have their hands full playing either OKC or the Spurs. No hate here, but I think those are the two best teams (right now). The Heat’s lack of depth will play a factor, albeit a small one, against either team, and if Bosh is not back at 100%, the Heat might get exposed as the two-man team they really are. People underrate Bosh’s contribution IMO. Wouldn’t mind watching Westbrook v. Wade and LeBron v. Durant for a week-and-a-half :)

  11. justprofit84 - May 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Miami vs Boston 4-2…vs Philly 4-1 Miami wins both series.What do u think?

  12. ceschatz - May 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    The Heat made it to the finals last year in their first year together with the big 3, was that not way ahead of the curve? Now they have a chance to make it playing a bit more comfortable but with no real off season due to the lockout. Would it really be that surprising if they lost in the finals again? Bottom line, the fact that they accomplish what they accomplish being a fairly new team is pretty damn impressive.

  13. mikejd12 - May 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Scalfor3…. Are u kidding me not as good. Dallas when the playoffs started we the hottest team in the nba, dirk was literally unstoppable. It’s not about the season record it’s about the playoffs! Hense the giants in the nfl. Dallas tore through everyone. They were as good by far.

  14. jimeejohnson - May 25, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Probably wasn’t a good idea to try and intimidate DWade and LeBron. Some guys just cannot be intimidated. Pacers should have followed Larry Bird’s example of letting his play intimidate the opposition. At least the Pacers made it a series. If DWade plays at a very high level and LeBron takes it to the hoop, the Heat might get to the NBA Finals.

    I do not love or hate the Heat. But I respect their organization and talent, with Pat Riley a certified winner calling the shots. Sort of hoping for a Heat/Spurs finals, but really just want to see good, hard fought games no matter who makes it.

  15. phillynac - May 25, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    The Spurs are the best team in the NBA. They were better the whole season in a tougher conference and now that is magnified with the loss of Bosh. Let’s not pretend that the Heat are all of a sudden the best team in the NBA because they beat the Indiana Pacers, who let’s face it, had a good year but are not a championship contender. They will rip through Philly or Boston but neither team is even close to a championship team. The Heat have a chance but they are not as good as the Spurs. I know the bandwagon Miami fans hate to hear it, but it will probably be another disappointing year for King James. I am very sad about that.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Should we just end the playoffs now? I’m sure the Thunder, Celtics, Sixers, and Heat would probably be pissed if we did.

  16. Chris Ross - May 25, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    You can’t ask for too much more out of a 2nd round series. I guess I could ask for a Heat loss but at least we got a series that was close. We got some good games out of it and the Pacers put the Heat to the test. The Heat deserved this series and it’s just amazing to watch the amazing abilities of Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. They did it without Chris Bosh and did it handily after game 3. It’s going to be interesting to see who they face in the NBA finals, yes, NBA finals.

  17. rodge1 - May 25, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Dallas was a very solid team last year, the only team that dominated Miami in the regular season. Wasn’t surprised to see Dallas beat Miami in the finals. This year will be closer, especially with Bosh back. You’ll seeeeee ….

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