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PBT Extra: Talking Pacers win over Heat; Aldridge vs. Howard showdown

Dec 11, 2013, 4:37 PM EDT

In the latest edition of PBT Extra, Kay Adams asks about the Pacers win over the Heat Tuesday — I don’t read much into any regular season meeting between these games. That said, I still stand by my pick of the Pacers to win the NBA title this year.

Then we shift our focus to the Thursday night meeting of improved teams in the West: Portland vs. Houston. Specifically, we talk LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Dwight Howard, and I praise Aldridge.

  1. davidly - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    One of the big reasons why a lot of people hold Jordan as the goat is that he never downplayed the importance of a game. He came out to destroy the competition no matter who it was–but especially if they were challengers to the throne. LBJ is probably going to pass MJ to become the career PER leader, how long he’ll stay there is anyone’s guess. More important to win over all the pundits and fans on the fence is–the wins he manages to rack up in their memories.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      He had to get past those Bad Boys from Detroit, first. I had the pleasure of seeing MJ from college to the end, and your comment nails the one thing that made him the GOAT. Jordan never lost an NBA finals, including game seven! The only other guy who never underestimated the importance of a game, to the point of puking before games, was Bill Russell, who had been the GOAT prior to Michael. Respect to Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Larry Bird, among others.

  2. pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    I agree with your pick of the Pacers with one caveat: if Oden can even play 15-20 mins a game at a high level in the playoffs, the Heat will 3-peat.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      They don’t need Oden to do that. The difference in the playoffs will remain the same – Miami has LeBron and the other teams do not.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 12, 2013 at 12:41 AM

        The Heat won by the skin of their teeth last year. The ECF went 7 and they obviously almost lost game 6 if it wasn’t for Ray Allen’s epic shot.

        Lebron can only do so much by himself against a stacked Pacers team.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 12, 2013 at 1:31 AM

        Now they didn’t win by the skin of their teeth in the ECF – they blew the Pacers out in the deciding game.

        But yes, the Heat won, and Pacers lost. Just like the year before. Indiana can only do so much against LeBron James.

        A Heat-Pacers series is going to come down to who can dominate the other team more, Roy Hibbert or LeBron James – and if you put your money on Roy Hibbert you’re a fool.

  3. jbeagles23 - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    It’s true. Lebron has a level no one in the nba can match. When he was on George lastnight it was a wrap. He can completely shut George out

    • davidly - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      No he can’t completely shut him out, otherwise he wouldn’t have had three fouls and been taken off of him. Spoelstra was by implication saying that he didn’t believe he would be able to guard him the whole game without fouling out.

  4. creek0512 - Dec 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Until PG completely wore out LeBron and he stopped guarding him. PG took over in the 2nd half while LeBron was tired from chasing him for just one quarter.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      That’s irrelevant. The lesson is that LeBron can completely shut down George whenever he wants to – just like Durant and Rose before him. As Wade said, “If LeBron doesn’t want you to score, you won’t.” That was what Game 7 was all about, essentially.

      George doesn’t really bother LeBron. But who does? He still averages about 30 on all of the eras greatest perimeter defenders.

      • franbotel - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:45 AM

        Preach brother preach. Thats why i believe Lebron is already better than jordan. Jordan never shut down the best player in the other team that was Pippen’s job.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        I agree with you, friend. Jordan was an incredible defender in his own right though – but the responsibilities that were split between Pippen and Jordan on the Bulls, LeBron has to handle himself for the Heat.

        Pippen was the designated defender and leading assist man – Jordan the main scorer. LeBron has to be all of those things for Miami, as well as being their top rebounder!

      • davidly - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        I’ll bet he wanted to shut him down in the second half, but he couldn’t. So which is it? Can he shut him down whenever he wants–or are there other factors involved that prevent him from doing so?

      • antistratfordian - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        Well, obviously the most important factor is the game has to mean something. So yes, he can prevent him from scoring whenever he chooses to – just like anyone else. Selling out to do that is not wise in December.

      • bougin89 - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        So then why didn’t he?

      • antistratfordian - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        He did.

      • bougin89 - Dec 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Not when it mattered on Tuesday.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        It didn’t matter on Tuesday.

      • bougin89 - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        It very well might end up mattering. Especially for the Pacers.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        It won’t.

      • bougin89 - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Spoken like a true front running fan, well done Anti.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM

        Not much has changed in 6 months.

        You know, Miami’s record is exactly the same now as it was at this point last year, when they were also #2 in the East, but then behind that years fad – the Knicks. This year it’s the Pacers.

        Both the Knicks and the Pacers have the same problem though – they don’t have LeBron. That hasn’t changed.

      • bougin89 - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        The only thing that hasn’t changed is the Heat should still be considered the favorites. The Pacers are a better team this year, that has changed.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        They are a better team against other teams. They are not a better team against Miami because their biggest improvement is at LeBron’s position – and he can neutralize that position. So that improvement won’t factor much against them.

        It’s the same problem OKC had. They rely on Durant – and Durant can overwhelm any other team that doesn’t have LeBron. But against Miami the Thunder do not have any advantage at Durant’s position.

        So in general it doesn’t really help the Pacers against the Heat to start relying more on Paul George. The more shots that go to Paul George, the easier it will be for Miami to handle them. And if they play out the season with George taking most of the shots – but then against Miami they change the way they play – that won’t help their chemistry.

        In the end, the Pacers chances against the Heat is all about Roy Hibbert on offense, and he’s a middling offensive player. So, it’s basically the same thing we’ve seen the last few years.

      • bougin89 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Lebron doesn’t shut down George and George won’t shut down Lebron. It didn’t happen last year and it won’t happen this year.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 17, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        He completely shut down George last year in Game 7. PG was invisible.

        But, in general, George isn’t a player that needs shutting down.

      • bougin89 - Dec 18, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        In general, Lebron doesn’t shut down the opposing teams best player. That’s more myth than reality.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        You need to go back and watch crunch time of every major series the Heat have played since he’s been there.

        He does.

    • davidly - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:47 AM

      He didn’t.

  5. fnf417 - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Then they switched him as he started to get him in foul trouble

  6. jimeejohnson - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Finally a blog about these two teams without hate. Pacers have a hump to overcome just as LeBron once did. If these two teams meet in the playoffs it’s going to be GLORIOUS!

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