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Heat blowout win doesn’t define series, but it might win it

May 27, 2013, 12:36 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game Three Getty Images

Even for the Miami Heat, this game was an outlier.

They scored 70 points on 63 percent shooting with one turnover in the first half. Udonis Haslem hit 8-of-9 to lead Heat players outside the “big three” shooting 55 percent. Haslem’s shooting eventually pulled Roy Hibbert away from the paint and opened everything inside. LeBron James did damage in the post, Dwyane Wade hit 8-of-14 and pretty much anything the Heat did went right.

Come Game 4 Tuesday night it is unlikely the Heat will put together that amazing an effort.

But the fact they can once or twice in a seven game series — that for one game they can be so dominant that the best defense in the NBA looks helpless — is part of why it is so hard to beat them four out of seven. Miami just took one game off the board, saying to the Pacers “in a tightly contested series now you have to beat us four out of six, we’re just going to own this one.”

It stacks the deck against the team in the other uniform, whether it be yellow pinstripes or any other color.

“If you are not perfect guarding them they will do what they did to us tonight,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said after the game. “Sometimes when you are perfect with your coverages they find ways to make baskets.”

Haslem jumped in the hot tub time machine back to 2005 and was the key for Miami. There was a time years ago when Haslem was automatic from 15 feet out along the baseline, he was that guy again Sunday night.

It put Hibbert in an impossible position. In Game 2 Indiana was able to park Hibbert near the paint and let him alter drives and grab rebounds because neither Haslem nor anyone else made him pay. Sunday, Haslem made him pay. By the second half Hibbert had to step out of the paint to respect that shot and things opened up for LeBron James to post up on the left block. Indiana left Paul George on an island with him one-on-one on the block and, as great a defender as George is, that was not going to work.

It was more than that. It was an up-tempo first half that played to Miami’s strengths. It was Dwyane Wade driving the lane and breaking down the Pacers defense in the first half (six assists before the break). It was Miami getting 32 points in the paint in the first half. To quote Dawes, it was a little bit of everything.

Miami overwhelms even good teams teams sometimes. It happens.

It doesn’t mean Game 4 will look like that — I expect it will not. Indiana’s defense will be sharper and they will have some adjustments. In Game 3 the Pacers continued to have good offensive success against the Heat’s defense.

I expect Game 4 will be close, more like games one and two. Indiana may or may not get the win.

But you can’t beat the Heat in a series playing them to a tie most nights then occasionally getting blown out. Game 3 does not define this series. But it makes it a whole lot harder for Indiana to win it.

  1. jbeagles23 - May 27, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Everyone claims their team is built to beat the heat. However the problems they create with their small ball far outmatch what a taller team like the pacers can deliver. Hibbert has given up the most points of any player in this series because although he is tall he is too slow and flat footed o match the heat bigs

    • nbascreed - May 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      Thank you jbeagles for this. All I heard was how Miami would be in trouble for being so small up front. Hibbert is NOT a punishing low post center in the mold of Ewing or Hakeem. Does his size cause a problem…indeed. Is it intractable? Not in the least.

      West does punish you on the block but I’ll take UD on him straight up all day. I honestly don’t think West is a guy that can get you 50 and a win (think Charles Barkley). 25 is about his threshold. And quite honestly, the rest of the matchups don’t really scare me. All of the Pacers are average or above average for their positions. Yes, George is developing, but he is NOT the guy that can win you a playoff series on his own just yet.

      Heat in 6
      ktgotgame.com

  2. rodge1 - May 27, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Welcome back to earth Indiana.

    • adoombray - May 27, 2013 at 1:49 AM

      7 game series, the heat have only won two. i’m not just gonna stop watching basketball and the Pacers aren’t going to just forfeit to LeWhistle.

      • pantsfreezone - May 27, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        Really? After watching the first 3 games of the series you can honestly say that LeBron gets calls? This series has been reffed all up in Indiana’s favor. Phantom calls, ticky tack perimeter whistles, George Hill flailing and holding guys to get calls, West AND ONE scream calls.

        Get out of here. The only reason this won’t be a sweep is because of Tony Brothers sh-tty reffing.

    • hehateme2 - May 27, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      HEAT in 6. The refs will call 1 more for the spacers.

      • jollyjoker2 - May 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        I agree., I dont watch the NBA much anymore because you know whats going to happen. I imagine lebron drove to the basket a lot in game 3 and stuck his shouider into people getting ever single call. Just like shaq used to do. Indiana will get another game called their way to get the ratings up but Miami will likely close it out. Its hard to watch this.

  3. dolphindubs - May 27, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Where’s all the Heat-haters? Whenever Miami loses, there are 20+ posts in a matter of minutes after an article is published but when Miami wins….nothing.

    • adoombray - May 27, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      waiting for the next game, but, go ahead and pre-anoint the heat like everyone seems desperate to do. this one is going 7

    • philtration - May 27, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      Kind of like the Heat fans never having anything to say when they lose.

      • jimmymarlinsfan - May 27, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        It happens so infrequently we are quite honestly caught off guard

    • blueintown - May 27, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Everyone gets it. When the Heat win, Heat fans will acknowledge it while everyone else complains about the refs and David Stern and the fake moon landing; when the Heat lose everyone will bark about how they’ve been exposed as frauds, cheats, chokers, and prima donnas, while Heat fans will sit back quietly and wait for the inevitable bounce-back victory that follows. Make-a the world go ’round.

      • jimmymarlinsfan - May 27, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Awesome

    • Kansachusetts - May 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Fair question. Here’s a Heat-hater, from Boston. I think the Pacers are done. They can’t answer LeBron posting up. When the rest of the Heat don’t hit their shots, the Pacers will win a game. Heat in 6.

    • miamatt - May 27, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      I’m a Heat fan and know what you’re saying, dolphindubs, but this is how it is for all teams. What fan is super-excited to check out all the post game coverage after a playoff loss? Whether it is the Heat, Knicks, Celtics, Lakers….. when a team loses, many of their fans are going to take a day to digest it, while opposing fans celebrate. It’s not about any particular team, just the nature of sports fans in general. I’m happy for the win, I don’t need every other NBA fan to kiss my butt on top of that.

  4. mungman69 - May 27, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    It will be interesting to watch the Heat beat the well rested Spurs in 5.

    • Kansachusetts - May 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Spurs in 6 or 7.

  5. dolphindubs - May 27, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Game 1: Indiana: 32 FTs vs 25 FTs Heat Game 2: Indiana 32 FTs vs 26 FTs Heat Game 3: Indiana 44 FTs vs 28 FTs Heat

    All that even though the Heat have done more work in the paint than the Pacers. And people want to cry about the refs helping the Heat….

    • jollyjoker2 - May 27, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      Anyone can call garbage time free throws to even it out. Shaq used to stick his entire body into a person and get a call. Jordon, you could breath on him. Magic, bird… lot of them got the calls in crunch time. This isn’t new….. In baseball, I remember the yankees in one playoff series with MN . 26 check swings versus 1 were called strikes . The size of the strike zone was the size of a soft ball for one side….. The pacers have to play extraordiny to get by this stuff.

      • brutl - May 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        Garbage time free throws? You mean the first 3 quarters were garbage time when the the pacers had nearly double the amount before it started evening up a little more?
        You’re right about one thing, though. Even with all the free points from the refs, the Pacers will have to play extraordinary to get by the Heat

  6. twreck13 - May 27, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Can’t wait to see how many heat fans there are when Lebron leaves

    • deeballer - May 27, 2013 at 6:06 AM

      Just because we can’t afford the crazy seat prices doesn’t mean we can’t be fans from home. Why would he leave a stable winning organization and go back to a mess like Cleveland? Name ANY other organization that would attract Lebron with that kind of stability? No way NYC or LA is close to the family atmosphere Micky Arison and Pat Riley has built in Miami.

      • cantonbound13 - May 27, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        The same family that kicked out Stan Van Gundy? The same family that cleared up all that cap space & dumped players to make a run a LeBron? That loyal family?

      • leahcima1 - May 27, 2013 at 9:43 AM

        Ah, I see cantonbound13 has crawled out of the cesspool with his jealous babbling. Welcome home cantonbound13.

      • miamatt - May 27, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        Van Gundy is the outlier, and letting him go was the price to be paid to right the ship and win a title.

        And dumping short-term players like Michael Beasley and Jermaine O’Neal hardly constitutes a breach of loyalty. Have the Knicks kept anybody besides “your beard is weird” Frazier engaged in the NY organization? There’s a long list of Miami personnel that go all the way back to the expansion year and the 90’s…

      • realfootballfan - May 27, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        Laker fans thinking they can lure James away are delusional. They were a great organization under Jerry Buss, but he died.

        They should ask the 49er fans about how going from a good owner family member to a bad owner family member like they just did works out for you. They just came out of the wilderness because the son took over from his clueless father and mother.

        Question is does Jim Buss have any kids and how long before he concedes that he’s too dopey to be anywhere near the forefront of a winning organization.

  7. jadaruler - May 27, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Hard to stop any team when they get going like this, let alone a great team like Miami.

    Pacers took a hard right and got knocked down. Now they have get up and get ready for game 4.

  8. pistolpete0903 - May 27, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    Lol…its kind of amazing how people react after 1 game.
    I guess we have morons on both side (people who were crowing when Miami lost Game 2 and now in Game 3 when they comprehensively outplayed Indy).
    It is a 7 game series, Miami made the adjustments. More importantly, Haslem made shots. If I were Indy, I WILL live with that.
    Lets see how Vogel and the Pacers make the changes.

    Still saying it is a 50-50 series, goes to Game 7.

    • realfootballfan - May 27, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Well, I’m not a fan of either team. Fact is, there are no adjustments that they can make. They a nice little team playing against p;players that simplly are above their level. When the Heat don’t get lazy, they’re nearly unbeatable. You don’t win 27 games in a row without that being the case.

  9. rickyspanish - May 27, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    adoombray

    Everyone’s predictions are ridiculous, even yours. No one knows what’s going to happen, that’s why the games are played.

  10. mannyfresh209 - May 27, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    point blank, if the heat are making their shots at any sort of efficient rate, the game is over. they’re their own enemy in this series. if they make buckets, pacers can do NOTHING to combat that.

    throw on top of that FIVE turnovers for the entire game? voila, a blowout.

  11. djigel - May 27, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    The Heat got out there and players their game – they won. When Indiana established the game they wanted to play, they won (and almost won game one). This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Miami is good enough to beat a team who establishes a tempo Miami doesn’t prefer – see LeBron James as the best player in the world – but Indiana doesn’t have the horses to play with Miami when they dictate the flow of the game. It is that simple.

    Miami played their game from the beginning – they won. If Indiana goes and and plays the game they like in game 4 – there is a good chance they can win. This game doesn’t mean every game will be a 20 point win for Miami. Miami’s style, however, will lead to blow-out wins while Indiana’s will lead to a tighter, grind-out win. For them to win, they have to be happy and ok with that and hope for the best. If they try to shoot threes and run with Miami – they will get crushed.

  12. beachsidejames - May 27, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Its only going 7 if miami loses tommorrow. Pacers are too good to let up on them now. Miami wins the next two. Heat 4 Pacers 1

  13. nobandwagonridersallowed - May 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    What everyone has seemed to have forgotten is how dominant a team Miami is when it’s role players step up, like they’ve been doing most of the year… Some nights it’s, Allen, some nights it’s Battier, some nights it’s Cole, some nights it’s Chalmers, however tonight it was, Haslem. God forbid if 2 of the aforementioned names get going on the same night to add what the Big 3 gives.

    The looks on the Pacers faces were that of concern (in my opinion). They looked defeated, not only by the score, but by the way Miami took it to them playing their (the Pacers) kind of “Bully Ball” in the post area and grinding out rebounds. That win may effect the way the Pacers come out in game 4. The pressure is clearly on them now, because if they don’t win that one, this series will not make it back to Indy, being that the Heat will smell blood and close them out in Miami.

    I called the Heat in 5 and I’m standing by that….

  14. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 27, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    True, UD putting up offensive numbers is an “outlier”, but it’s not like the Pacers are playing to their averages either. All season they had trouble scoring, what was it, 85 a game? They’re putting up 102,97,96 so far against a pretty good defensive team. This team couldn’t break 70 against the Hawks 10 or so days ago, and now?

    If you’re going to write about a team that’s lost 5 times since Feb 1, as if they got lucky last night; then you have to acknowledge that the Pacers are playing out of their minds well right now too.

  15. rodge1 - May 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Can we all agree how pleasant these comment sections are now without the Knicks’ loudmouth fans talking about how ‘great’ the Knicks are? The air is cleaner now and even the food tastes better.

    • leahcima1 - May 27, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Right on.

    • brutl - May 27, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      The air will be cleaner once we boot the Indy fans. All those race fumes seems to be affecting them.
      And the food tastes great but their hogging all the mashed potatoes. Indiana, home of the toothbrush, because anywhere else it would have been a teeth brush.

  16. scorp16 - May 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Miami has an extra gear. A gear that no other team in the NBA has. Indy just needs to go back to last year after being up 2-1. A 40-18-9 game from Lebron. Multiple 30 point games from Wade. Games 4, 5, and 6 last year really weren’t that close.

    Boston saw that extra gear in games 6 and 7 of the ECF and didn’t have a chance. OKC beginning in Game 2 of the Finals.

    The Heat’s biggest weakness is playing down to the opponent. Even during the streak they went down early, many times by double digits. But come the 4th they found that gear.

    The same gear Chicago saw in Game 2 of the division series when they got run out of the building. After that they really had no shot.

    Indiana saw that gear again in game 3.

    Once a team gets Miami’s attention and they begin really focusing – the results are similar to what you saw last night. Shouldn’t really be a surprise.

    • realfootballfan - May 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      Can we hire you to take over for these idiot ex-players hearkening back to the “good old days” because they don’t want to acknowledge that a team constructed differently from the models they grew up with is the dominant team of the day?

      When the Heat are focused, no team is beating them 4 times in a series. Maybe if this was the NCAA tournament, somebody would have a chance, but not in a best of 7.

      They get unfocused and undisciplined, otherwise, they might never lose.

  17. golfrangeman - May 27, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Jollyjoker2 if you really think its fixed then who’s fixing it? The refs? You really think there’s this enormous conspiracy going on. And what’s in it for the refs? Some serious jail time along with David Stern. I got news for you it’s not fixed. The team that plays best wins, if it was fixed NY would be playing Miami and LA would be playing LA or OKC but their not. Stop your crying.

    • jollyjoker2 - May 27, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      The refs were caught a few years back in the cookie jar. Did it get fixed? I doubt it. Fact is, the first 3 quarters mean very little in basketball at that level. I would also say that its not necesarilly true that big markets would pay that person the most to call it when it needs to be called. Thats your imagination….. I have seen a lot of phantom fouls and put the shoulder into it and get the calls over the years. I made the call twice now after a loss that miami would stomp the opposition the following game. I make the call right now that the ref’s will gimme one to Indiana in game 5 to draw fan interest.

  18. fearthehoody - May 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Football season yet????

  19. Great Caesar's Ghost - May 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    This Heat dynasty is already the greatest dynasty of all time. They don’t need to win more than 2 titles to cement this. The team is better than the 60s Celtics or the 90s Bulls. They’re great because they share the ball and LBJ doesn’t need to be the “alpha male.” He is not suited for that role so if the Heat break up he will probably join another good player like Durant or Melo so he can win another title with them.

    • Waxxx4321 - May 27, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Now i am a Miami Fan. Sorry. but Michael Jordans Bulls or Bill Russells Celtics are still the greater teams and have the rings to show for it. Glory is to be earned not Given.

  20. beachsidejames - May 27, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Game 4 is going to be a very physical close game and the Heat will pull away and win by 10. Game 5 is when the Heat begin to find the 3 point range again ( hasn’t happened yet) in the 3rd qter and blow the game open.

  21. doctordunkenstein - May 27, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Pacers getting all the calls and still down 2-1

  22. jbeagles23 - May 27, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    The refs haven’t been bad as in favouring one team over the other but have taken away the pace of the game with ticky tack fouls

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