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Eastern Conference Finals Game 2: Can Pacers put on repeat performance?

May 20, 2014, 9:51 AM EDT

In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday the Pacers scored 119 points per 100 possessions and absolutely devastated the Heat defense. Indiana played smart pick-and-roll basketball to expose Miami’s poor rotations as the roll man got a lot of good looks in the paint. Indiana moved the ball, hit 8-of-19 shots from three, and made Miami look a step slow all game long. The Pacers were the aggressors, getting to the free throw line 37 times to the Heat’s 15.

It was not at all what anyone expected — the Pacers were built to grind the Heat down, not outscore them. Which begs the real question for Game 2:

Can the Pacers replicate that performance?

Or, was Game 1 a “one off” that will not look like any other game in this series?

We will find out Tuesday night with Game 2 between these teams in Indiana.

First off, expect a much more aggressive Miami defense. In Game 1 the Heat let the Pacers start their sets and get to their spots on the floor with little disruption, that will not be the case this time around. Also, expect much sharper defensive rotations for Miami, particularly off the pick-and-roll. The Pacers roll man continually got the ball in the paint and made plays, expect Miami to defend that with more aggressive play. However, in Game 1 the Pacers hit 8-of-14 from the midrange and 41.2 percent from three, do that again Miami will struggle to stop them.

Expect Udonis Haslem to start and Shane Battier to come off the bench, as the Heat did in the second half of Game 1. Miami needs the size and defense to match up better with Indiana — Roy Hibbert and David West combined for 38 points, 16 rebounds and six assists in Game 1. Don’t expect to see Greg Oden, who coach Eric Spoelstra said after Game 1 was not physically ready to go.

What Miami also needs is someone to play well on offense who is not named LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. We’re looking at you, Chris Bosh. He was 4-of-12 shooting and 0-of-5 from three in Game 1. Miami needs Bosh’s jump shot to pull the Heat bigs out of the paint and create room for LeBron and Wade to drive the lane. Bosh can do that. Also Miami could use more Ray Allen or Mario Chalmers or anyone else who can get hot from three and give them some points.

Indiana still has matchup advantages — mainly Miami doesn’t have a great answer for Roy Hibbert, who had 19 points (9 earned at the free throw line) and 9 rebounds in Game 1. But Hibbert has been anything but consistent these playoffs, posting some zero-zero games as well. He’s had games where he didn’t fight for position, or didn’t get the ball when he did. It begs the question which Roy Hibbert shows up on Tuesday?

It’s really the same question for Paul George and the entire Pacers offense — can they do it in back-to-back games? Because so far in these playoffs (and over the final months of the season) they have often followed a strong performance with a dud. The Pacers have been the very definition of inconsistent, a team Has Miami woken them up? Will the Pacers defense that was built to make life difficult for the Heat continue to thrive on Tuesday night?

Or was Game 1 a one off?

  1. bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    They can but will they? Depends on which version of this Heckle and Jyde Pacers team shows up.

    • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Beat em down? Grind em out?
      A win is a win. AGAIN, there are no style points in the NBA.

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        I agree.

        The Pacers don’t need to shoot as well as they did in Game 1 to win but if Wade plays that well offensively again I doubt they get a W. I expect Lebron to be much more aggressive in game 2.

      • casualcommenter - May 20, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        It’s not about style points.

        If you’ve been watching the Pacers in the playoffs, particularly on offense, you sometimes see good ball movement and activity off the ball, and you sometimes see 5 guys who can’t competently pass or catch the ball.

        The Pacers aren’t going to beat the Heat 4 times in a 7 game series if they revert to the listless offense they frequently displayed against the Hawks and Wizards. They need to keep up the unselfish play and energy on offense to have a shot.

    • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      So when Indiana wins tonight (again) for the 8th time out of 9 at home in the past 2 seasons against the Heat… are they still up-and-down and Jekyll and Hyde? At what point will credit be given to Indiana?
      Built not Bought!

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Fine, I’ll be more specific. Depending on which Roy Hibbert shows up will be a huge factor in whether or not they can get a W tonight.

        Jekyll Roy

        or

        Hyde Roy

      • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        Roy Hibbert was on the team (and played significant minutes) in every game that the Indiana Pacers play the Miami Heat.
        Good Roy or Bad Roy the Indiana Pacers are better than the Heat. Keep grasping for something/anything… Indiana’s team is better than LeBron.

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        I’m not a Heat fan.

        Go home, you’re drunk.

      • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        Miami does not have fans. Can you not read? Fan is short for the word fanatic. You just downloaded the LeBron app. I understand that. But LeBron happens to play on the Basketball team in Miami. They call them the Heat.
        If you are not a fan… shut up. At least when I thought you were a fan it explained your ignorance.

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        I’m a Bucks fan. Thanks for playing.

      • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        HA!

      • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        Just watch the lottery and go to bed.

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        I probably will tune into the lottery, it’s at 7pm CST, right?

      • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Indiana > Miami.
        My opinion> yours.

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        “My opinion> yours.”

        Wow. Great insight.

        Let me guess:

        Your opinion=Indiana is the best team in the league by far.

      • jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        by the statistics

      • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        More great insight, please go on…

      • bougin89 - May 21, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        What were you saying about your opinion?

      • jkirby317 - May 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        Indiana is still better than Miami.
        Too bad the Bucks can’t even win the lottery

      • bougin89 - May 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        You sound like a salty child.

      • jkirby317 - May 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        yep.

      • bougin89 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        Just had to LOL at this comment from you one more time.

        It’s too bad though, I was rooting for the Pacers to pull off the upset. This has been confirmed though:

        My rationale> Yours

      • jkirby317 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        I love it. I’m in your head and I didn’t even have to blow in your ear. Good morning, baby boy.

      • bougin89 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        No, the problem is you’re in your own head. That’s clearly the problem.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        You are responding to a post that I made 12 days ago. Clearly, I am in your head. I love knowing that for the last 12 days that you have crafted your response. I love it. You’re welcome.

      • bougin89 - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        I like good banter on here, if you weren’t just a bandwagon fan you would know I’m a regular. How else would I fill my spare time at work? And yes, if someone tries to claim they’re smarter than I am but clearly aren’t I’ll call them out on it, like I am now. I’d say good effort to you but that really wouldn’t be the case. Good day.

      • jkirby317 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        I was born and raised in central Indiana and have ONLY supported my local team and will do so for the remainder of my life. That is what true fans do. I too enjoy witty banter on boards like this one—unlike you, however, I am not posting my comments with the goal to make adult male friends—I have plenty. This website is for sports fans and not guys trying to be less of a loser in the real world and finally make a “friend.” As for your response, “…if you weren’t just a bandwagon fan you would know I’m a regular.” What does my fandom have to do with the frequency of your anonymous posts on this or any website? What have you EVER said that would give ANYONE the indication that you are smart, let alone smarter than me? Obviously, you are incredibly dedicated to this website so, where might be the link to this evidence of your supposed intelligent thought(s)? Do you feel special or privileged for having a username on this free website? I am glad that you are working (I really am) but what respectable job has “spare time?” Talk SPORTS or get back to work. I am sure that your manager at Burger King has told you a million times that, “someone could always be cleaning the bathroom.” Don’t have someone call that number on the back of the receipt and complain about you, baby boy.

      • bougin89 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Haha. More irrational opinions that are wrong. Nice try but another fail.

  2. void96eater - May 20, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    No. Unless the Pacers have suddenly unlocked the non-existant key to shooting above 52% consistently, then they are not beating the Heat tonight..

    • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      They can win without shooting that well.

      Of course they could also lay a huge dud in game 2.

    • void96eater - May 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      That’s true. I’ll give you that.

  3. floridascuba1 - May 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Miami was the aggressor. Look at points in paint.

    • ranfan12 - May 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      looked like shrimp out there to me

  4. wallabear - May 20, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    What did Indy score, like 20+ points from FREEs lol If any Heat player even as much as breathes, they get socked with a foul. Great officiating, as usual (rolling eyes)

  5. cruzan80 - May 20, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    This is the thing…the Pacers don’t have to have THAT type of offensive output to win tonight.

    What they have to do is abuse them on the boards, score in the paint & play solid defense. In other words…do what they’ve done pretty much all year.

    Last year they were happy just to get to the ECF. I remember West, Hibbert & George all at the podium together after they eliminated the Knicks acting like the just won the title…not this time around.

  6. ravenswhat - May 20, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Can the pacers shoot 24 more free throws than the heat even though that has happened to the heat once in the last 245 games. No. The pacers had the moon, sun and stars align the other day.

  7. rootgamble - May 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Not with Joey Crawford as the ref. Lebron’s playoff record with Crawford is 25-3. Without is 41-50. Heat down 0-1 in a series? Better call in Crawford!

    • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      I’m not going to fact check but that doesn’t pass the smell test.

    • antistratfordian - May 20, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      Every LeBron James Playoff Game Officiated By Joey Crawford:

      12 WINS – 11 LOSSES

      Loss. 86-113 vs Pistons 2006. Game 1.
      Loss. 61-79 vs Pistons 2006. Game 7.
      Win. 100-97 vs Wizards 2008. Game 4.
      Loss. 73-89 vs Celtics 2008. Game 2.
      Win. 99-78 vs Pistons 2009. Game 4.
      Loss. 89-99 vs Magic 2009. Game 3.
      Win. 112-102 vs Bulls 2010. Game 2.
      Loss. 88-120 vs Celtics 2010. Game 5.
      Loss. 82-86 vs Sixers 2011. Game 4.
      Win. 102-91 vs Celtics 2011. Game 2.
      Win. 101-93 vs Bulls 2011. Game 4.
      Loss. 93-95 vs Mavericks 2011. Game 2.
      Loss. 103-112 vs Mavericks 2011. Game 5.
      Win. 104-94 vs Knicks 2012. Game 2.
      Loss. 75-78 vs Pacers 2012. Game 2.
      Loss. 91-93 vs Celtics 2012. Game 4.
      Win. 101-88 vs Celtics 2012. Game 7.
      Win. 91-85 vs Thunder 2012. Game 3.
      Win. 104-94 vs Bulls 2013. Game 3.
      Loss. 92-99 vs Pacers 2013. Game 4.
      Win. 103-84 vs Spurs 2013. Game 2.
      Win. 103-100 vs Spurs 2013. Game 6.
      Win. 96-94 vs Nets 2014. Game 5.

      • cantonbound13 - May 20, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        Here come the excuses. Sleeves, officiating….what’s next?

  8. prareedoggin - May 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    The Pacers clearly came out more hungry and played angry. They wanted it more and it looks like Miami wasn’t ready as sad as that is to say. Yes they shot lights out but still, they played amazing. If they play like that tonight it will be tuff for my team to steal a game on the road. Should be a great series. And I’m not complaint about the free throw disparity, they were the aggressors and the FTs showed it

    • jollyjoker2 - May 20, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      1 off … They need to bring it again and again until Miami is suking air. I don’t want here how they got a moral victory – beat them, pound them and leave them crying like babies.

  9. johnc44 - May 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I`m a Pacers fan but even i know they have no shot tonight with Joey there.Listening to Heat fans complain about officials is so stupid it`s funny.They are so used to Lewhine & D-Bag being able to drive the lane and run into defenders and get rewarded with free throws they actually think that is how it should be.Don`t worry.You have Joey back to ref Lewhine to another playoff victory.If the NBA could ever figure out how to call a game without dictating the outcome it would be Americas favorite sport instead of the NFL.
    Crawford`s games have a WWE style predictability and he think`s he`s Vince McMahon but at least he`s good for us gamblers.Bet the Heat big tonight because that`s what they brought Joey here for.

  10. golfrangeman - May 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    @rootgamble those Crawford numbers are completely WRONG don’t believe everything you read, they don’t even add up,based on those numbers your missing 20 something playoff games. LBJ is 8 and 6 in games Joey Crawford refs. Look it up ( and not on a blog )

  11. golfrangeman - May 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    @rootgamble. look it up dude truschoolsports.wordpress.com with Joey Crawford 12 wins 11 losses w/o Joey Crawford 83 wins 42 losses. These are FACTS not blogs. Get your facts correct idiot

  12. jkirby317 - May 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Pacers by 9.
    Joey Crawford or not.

  13. johnc44 - May 20, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I don`t know his record with each team or anything but i`ve watched him ref for years.
    You can look at the Durant or Curry plays this season or the Duncan,Barnes or Camby/Nash situations of past or the tax fraud in 1998 or the ticket fraud that caused him to lose his job and see that if he wasn`t in the leagues pocket he wouldn`t still have a job.
    He consistently has a major negative influence on games and has broken laws at least twice and still does the biggest NBA games.I`m not a conspiracy theorist but i believe without a doubt that Joey Crawford still has a job after all that only because of his relationship with the NBA office.

  14. john242322 - May 20, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Pacers win again

  15. loungefly74 - May 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    even with that huge game 1 win…why does game 2 feel like a “must win” for the Pacers? I know i’m being cliched here…but Miami is scary. they have not lost a series in a very long time. they seem to be so good at adapting…but we will see!

  16. antistratfordian - May 20, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    A repeat performance? Sure, I actually think they will. They will repeat their 42% shooting from the 2nd half of Game 1.

  17. emdawt - May 20, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    What about – it’s hard to make the NBA Finals four straight years. Why are the Heat immune to something that no team has done since 1987?

    There’s a reason the Heat are a step slow and look old.

  18. cantonbound13 - May 20, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Expect a whole lot of flopping & whining.

  19. southbeachtalent - May 20, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Let me remind everyone the Heat are 8-2 in the playoffs.
    And they have never lost 2 in a row since LeBron’s arrival.
    Battier will not start.

    No way Indiana hits 1000 3’s again.

    • antistratfordian - May 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      That isn’t true, my man. The Heat lost 3 in a row against the Mavs in 2011, they lost 2 in a row against the Pacers in 2012 and they lost 3 in a row against Boston again in 2012.

    • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      “And they have never lost 2 in a row since LeBron’s arrival.”

      Where did you hear that?

    • bougin89 - May 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      “No way Indiana hits 1000 3′s again.”

      They hit 8 3’s.

      Everybody has off nights, southbeachtalent…don’t sweat it.

  20. golfrangeman - May 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    @cantonbound I finally agree with you I do expect a lot of flopping and whining from the pacers.

  21. jollyjoker2 - May 20, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    The only question is this the NBA’s 1 st game teaser before Miami comes back and squashes them. seen it too many times. If Indy is up, its only because they played a phenom game; even a blind squirl finds a nut.

  22. newyorkball82 - May 20, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    The pacers had 8 threes… I love the exaggeration like they were just nailing threes all night. That’s not even where they beat the heat. They beat them up in the paint. They out rebounded them. They posted them up and backed them down. They didn’t get caught in the heat traps. They won on so many levels. Get over it. The heat have the opportunity to win tonight and prove they can beat Indiana. Until then game one is over and done and they are down 0-1.

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