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Heat/Pacers preview: Will the real Dwyane Wade please stand up?

May 26, 2013, 1:59 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

Frank Vogel said in his press conference after Game 2 that LeBron James played about as good a game has he had ever seen a player have.

But it wasn’t enough. Paul George didn’t outplay him but held his own, and he got help from a bunch of other Pacers — Roy Hibbert, David West and George Hill all had good games.

Behind LeBron, Dwyane Wade had 14 points on 14 shots. He looks old and slow, and while he says not to write him off he isn’t playing like it. Bosh had 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Nobody else on Miami scored in double digits. During the season teams paid a price for the Heat’s ball movement and having Ray Allen and Shane Battier in the corner, the Pacers have contested and not paid any price.

And that becomes one of the big keys to Game 3 Sunday night and beyond — can Wade get past his sore knee and step up with a bigger game? Can Bosh provide more? Will the ball movement and three point shooting return for the Heat?

Because as great as LeBron is playing, he alone is not enough against a very good Pacers’ team.

Indiana has punctured Miami’s air of inevitability, that they were the best team and would roll to the finals. Indiana genuinely believes they can win, and that is step one to beating the Heat.

The other thing that should be worrying Miami faithful — the Pacers are scoring plenty.

During the regular season, Miami allowed 100.5 points per 100 possessions (7th best in the league) and Indiana scored just 101.6 (19th in the NBA). The issue for the Pacers coming into the series is how would they score enough?

But in Game 2 the Pacers scored 112.7 points per 100 possessions, after a respectable 101.9 in Game 1. Now the Pacers head home where you can expect role players like Lance Stephenson to play better… actually, in Stephenson’s case expect more up and down because that’s who he is. But you get the idea.

In Game 2 the Pacers guards did a better job against the perimeter pressure the Heat bring, and that allowed them to get the ball inside to West and Hibbert where their advantage is. (The Pacers also adjusted to the wing/wing pick-and-rolls the Heat ran on the other side that kept Hibbert well out of the play defensively.)

Miami needs to get back to won it 66 games in the regular season — LeBron is great but he got enough help from Wade and Bosh and the Heat’s depth that they overwhelmed teams. Indiana has a guy that can match up with LeBron in Paul George who is not going to be overwhelmed, which means now it comes to the supporting cast.

So far Indiana has won that battle, and if they continue to Miami is in real trouble.

  1. emosnar - May 26, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Huh? You know the guy that threw the flying elbow to Lance Stephenson’s head ion Game 2? That was him . . . FLASH IN THE FLESH SON!!!

  2. gmsalpha - May 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    And here I thought I thought I was going to read about Dwyane Wade.


  3. freudnumb - May 26, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    I just wonder how good these Pacers would get if Granger is healthy.

  4. jbeagles23 - May 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    They wouldn’t be any better. Maybe even worse

  5. waynegretsky77 - May 26, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    paul george > than lebron james. paul george made playoffs his first two years something james failed to do. paul george is in his third round in playoffs third year while james choked against detroit second round his third year. george got farther, won more playoff games his first three years than james ever did. james won mvp because of popularity

    • mannyfresh209 - May 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Can you even name 3 people from James’ Cavs in those years? Lol this Indian team is BUILT to be a contender.

      • sportsfan18 - May 26, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        Correct… Larry Bird built what this team currently is today… He didn’t do it in one year, but he built it up over several years and they are a very good team with a realistic chance to make it to the finals…

  6. mannyfresh209 - May 26, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Before Game 2, I said Mike Miller needs to get some run!!!! He rebounds better than Battier and Allen, and is just as deadly from 3. His defense isn’t as good as Battier’s, but Battier’s D is being hindered by having to guard West the majority of time he’s on the court.

    Cole on Hill, Wade on Stephenson, Miller on George, LeBron on West, Bosh on Hibbert. What’d Miller do with his lone shot attempt last game? Swish. Unless he’s INJURED, he SHOULD be getting some more play time. Battier and Allen have shot so poorly for what seems like an eternity.

    And Freudnumb – I think they’d actually fall back a little bit. Like Memphis, they got better without Gay. I feel Indiana would be the same thing. Granger was never really efficient to begin with, and George is already a better defender.

  7. scorp16 - May 26, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    “Frank Vogel said in his press conference after Game 2 that LeBron James played about as good a game has he had ever seen a player have”

    Really Frank? 40-18-9. Remember? You were coaching against him in that one too.

  8. jollyjoker2 - May 26, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    News flash Indiana! Lebron will get every single call in game 3. Going to the hole and dont matter if its his fault or not. COUNT on it. The only question is whether they can get luck enough to still beat them.

  9. jbeagles23 - May 26, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Lol at anyone thinking Paul George is better than lebron. Put George on the raptors and see how far they go. That’s the equivalent to James old cavs team

    • Great Caesar's Ghost - May 26, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      You can tell LBJ is intimidated by Paul George. The real dynasty in the making may be Indiana. They’re young, they play hard, they have size and can score. If the Heat play hard they can win this series, but they lack heart and the killer mentality.

  10. rodge1 - May 26, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    I love the empty seats in Indiana!!!!!

  11. jbeagles23 - May 27, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Yup lebron looked very intimidated by George. Could see it all night. Didn’t attack and just jacked up shots

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