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Dwyane Wade says bad blood between Heat and Pacers works to Miami’s advantage

May 17, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

Dwyane Wade, Lance Stephenson Dwyane Wade, Lance Stephenson

There aren’t many true rivalries in the NBA these days, mainly because in an era where teams can change so dramatically from one season to the next, it’s difficult to maintain any level of disdain for an extended period of time.

But as the Eastern Conference Finals get set to begin between the Heat and the Pacers, there’s no denying that some bad blood between the teams does in fact exist.

Miami has eliminated Indiana from the postseason each of the last two years, most recently requiring seven games to do so on the way to a second straight title. Add in the fact that the teams have battled four times already this year, and that’s enough familiarity to breed some contempt — which is something Dwyane Wade believes will work to his team’s advantage.

From Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald:

“We expect it to be just as competitive,” Heat center Udonis Haslem said. “More competitive than last year, more competitive than anything in the regular season. We’re talking about two teams that have grown to not really like each other over the last couple years.” …

“We’re not a young team where dislike should get in the way of us winning basketball games,” Wade said. “That’s when you’re younger and you’re coming up. That’s how Boston had us, where there was a dislike for them and mentally it got us off our games. We learned from that and we learned from them.

“No matter what goes on in the games, the chippiness, the back and forth, that’s part of the game, but you got to keep your head in it and continue to move forward.”

The Pacers are certainly not as experienced as this Heat team, but they would appear to have gained enough of it to where any in-game highs and lows shouldn’t negatively impact their chances.

Finding some level of consistency will be the biggest challenge for the Pacers more than anything else. We’re talking about a team that was barely .500 over the last two months of the season, and suffered a lapse that saw them trail by as many as 30 at home in Game 5 against the Wizards, on a night when they had a chance to close that series out.

Any moments that raise the intensity between these two teams may actually help Indiana focus on the task at hand. The Pacers are a team that’s shown a significant amount of mental frailty as of late, and may need a spark to help them rise to the occasion. If that is the case, they should have no trouble finding it against the two-time defending champs.

  1. duhwighthoward - May 17, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    And this guy wants his own sitcom?

  2. void96eater - May 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    I don’t know if this is because of the Sterling articles, but there has been a lot of trashy, racist comments lately. Joking or not, it’s completely unnecessary, and the writers need to get this junk off of the site.

    • miamatt - May 17, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      You couldn’t be more right. In a forum where you don’t have to show your face and can hide behind a fake name, it’s easy for cowards to show their true colors.

      • jimeejohnson - May 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Not banning these racist scumbags tells us that PBT is full of crap when it comes to racism. Donald Sterling must be the editor. PBT: you suck for allowing racists to continually post.

    • bowldsbrendonbboi7581 - May 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Thank you sir, I really appreciated that nice stab. I’ve been really upset with society as a whole the last couple of days. However, it’s good to know people are still decent sometimes.

    • bowldsbrendonbboi7581 - May 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Thank you sir, I really appreciated that nice stab. I’ve been really upset with society as a whole the last couple of days. However, it’s good to know people are still decent sometimes. 1

  3. savagedolfan - May 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    So a team that is mentally frail can benefit from confrontations and physical play throughout a series? How does that make any sense? A team with poor mental toughness should be easily flustered by Miami’s nagging defense and it’s explosive runs in offense… This is going to be a close series but let’s not make stuff up. Square pegs don’t fit in circular holes.

    • jollyjoker2 - May 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Indiana has the talent – but not the killer instinct. They need a guy or two to STEP up and be the big dog.

    • antistratfordian - May 17, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      There are different types of mental frailty. The Pacers never had a problem with confrontation – in fact, they invite it. Indiana’s collective mental problem is about embracing success – a fear of failure, more specifically – they become paralyzed by it.

  4. sellahh - May 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Sure does work in favor of Miami because apparently DWhitstle is allowed to throw a flying elbow to lance’s head with no actions taken at all and after Lance talks any smack it’s a T.
    Please wade, please tear your ACL. Please tear your ACL, MCL and smash whatever meniscus you have in both your knees. For Rondo’s arm, Lance’s head, Session’s groin and 2006 finals.

    • charlessb - May 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      beware of wade

      • cantonbound13 - May 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        He’s known for his cheap shots when his team is losing.

      • leahcima1 - May 17, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        cantonjerk0 has spoken. And G-d only knows cantonjerk0 is an expert at losing.

    • miamatt - May 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      pathetic and gutless crybaby comment.

      Cheers!

    • antistratfordian - May 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      I don’t think anyone feels any pity for Lance Stevenson. It’s like when Raja Bell clotheslined Kobe Bryant – it would’ve been more disconcerting if it happened to someone else.

    • savvybynature - May 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      I don’t condone wishing injury on anyone, but Wade is a total cheap shot artist. You didn’t even mention breaking Kobe’s nose in an All-Star exhibition!

  5. reesesteel23 - May 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    How could you stand up for him to begin with? lol

  6. jacobk621 - May 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Let’s get off the topic if Jim ,, I apologized !! Let’s focus on the topics of the articles !!

  7. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - May 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Lookoutjim def has a rifle in the back of his ford pick up truck

  8. jollyjoker2 - May 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Lets go Indiana! Pound LeBron and hit some big ones in the end..otherwise – three peat losers.

  9. jzone954 - May 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    What just happened to this website? Some of you guys are crazy

  10. bballhistorian - May 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Wade/Haslem are right! Just wish they couldn’t said it publicly…. Now Indiana will have that thought in the back of their heads.

    Still, Miami in 6

  11. kb2408 - May 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Guys, don’t feed the “animal” and hopefully he will go away.

  12. kb2408 - May 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Wade and LBJ are known for speaking loud and saying nothing. Pacers in 7….

    • antistratfordian - May 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      How ironic.

    • leahcima1 - May 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      Championships say it all kb2408. How many do your Pacers have? None? Oh, nasty. This is the time to trash talk isn’t it, – before the Heat threepeat.

  13. bigrains - May 17, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    You say the pacers are mentally frail, I say they are mentally tuff, Indiana was absolutely struggling during parts of the season, but they pulled together as a team, and look where they are. They are 95% mentally tuff and 5% mentally week. Great playoff experience. Like Indiana or not. They are a good team, that has serious playoff experience. They are now the underdogs again (which is how they like it). Pacers in 7. But damn I CANT WAIT

    • antistratfordian - May 17, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      They’re still struggling. But thank goodness they had to play the Hawks and the Wizards in the first two rounds. If they had to face a team with the experience and savvy of, say, the Brooklyn Nets, they wouldn’t have made it. But it’s better that it happens this way, against Miami – the lesson they’re about to learn will make the Pacers a better group of people and a wiser organization.

      • savvybynature - May 17, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        Haha, the Nets are terrible! Nobody was afraid of facing the Nets, did they even have a winning record this season? Do they even have a starting-caliber center? Their best big man is Paul Pierce, who isn’t even a big man!

      • antistratfordian - May 17, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        Do the Pacers even have a starting caliber center? The one they had disappeared a few months ago.

        The Nets have boat loads of playoff experience and plenty of talent – the two most important things in the playoffs. I don’t think the Pacers would’ve been able to beat the Nets in a series.

      • savagedolfan - May 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        @savvybynature Nets were the best 2nd half team of the East and almost the entire NBA. KG may just be a corpse out there but let’s face it, Hibbert is even less then that about half the time during these playoffs. He should be killing the post against teams like the Hawks and Wizards yet they shut him out several times. Thank West for picking up the slack, without him this would be a Heat vs Hawks/Wizards series.

  14. gomybirdsgo - May 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I’m sorry but what nba are you watching . “Teams can change dramatically from one year to the next”. No that can’t. In fact of the 4 majors the nba has the least worst to first numbers by a mile. The issue of no rivals is actually the exact opposite. It’s that there is to many bad teams that can’t get better

  15. skitz5 - May 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    I wished I could meet lookoutjim . I’d punch him in the face for being dumb.

  16. antistratfordian - May 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    It just doesn’t feel the same this time around. I almost feel sorry for the Pacers. Almost.

  17. ptownbearsfan420 - May 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Heat and Pacers both are trash. I hope Kevin Durant and the Soni.. I mean Thunder blow the heat out in the finals! So sick of hearing about how the heat are like gods or something.. First off Wade sucks. Yep i said it. And then who do you got? Bosh… Eh. Ray ray?? Nope. Lets face it. Its lebron vs everyone. So boring. Go KD!

    PS,
    I absolutely hate Kevin Durant too!!

  18. tmdill18 - May 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Nets aren’t any better than the Wizards. Old and injured. But they easily should have taken it to 7 games. Anyone who thinks the Heat easily handled the old and injured Nets is an idiot.

    • antistratfordian - May 18, 2014 at 2:04 AM

      I think the Heat are actually older than the Nets. Miami did handle them pretty easily, though. Yes, they had to fight for that one win in Brooklyn, but the first two wins were a cakewalk.

      A 5 game series can only be so tough.

  19. prareedoggin - May 17, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    The Heat will dominate the Thunder genius. They match up poorly against Miami. The spurs on the other hand are a much tuffer opponent. I’d rather play OKC then San Antonio

  20. Jeff - May 17, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Like Wade would say it the other way.

  21. money2long - May 17, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Yea. Luis Scola was on da corner and I bought some weed off him

  22. money2long - May 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Jim Crow
    Your name is fitting

  23. money2long - May 17, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    He gets enough IQ from yo mama.
    Good brains

  24. money2long - May 17, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    One of the tats reads : Jim’s mom.
    Sorry you had to find out this way.
    Your mom got around. And you just made fun of your daddy’s IQ a couple posts up.

  25. money2long - May 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Jesus shuttlesworth’s jumper is far from disabled

  26. money2long - May 17, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Is what wade said after he busted on your mom’s face.

  27. jimeejohnson - May 17, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    He got it from Uruguay.

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