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Heat, Pacers both look for someone to knock down jumpers in Game 3

May 24, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

Paul George, LeBron James Paul George, LeBron James

Buckets.

You can break down the offensive sets in great detail and point to flaws. You can pull out all the advanced statistical analysis you want. All of those things are there to be in service to getting buckets — and sometimes that comes down to the Jeff Van Gundyism that it’s a make-or-miss league.

In Game 2, there were a lot of misses.

Part of that is the Pacers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, the Heat one of the most aggressive in terms of traps and jumping passing lanes. That has an effect.

But both teams just missed some good looks in Game 2. Uncontested jumpers where just missed.

Both Miami and Indiana are in search of more buckets in a key Game 3 in Miami, with the series tied 1-1.

For Miami, that scoring can come from a couple logical places.

First, Chris Bosh needs to make some three pointers and space the floor better, maybe pull Roy Hibbert out of the paint some. Right now the Pacers have ignored Bosh out by the arc and he is 1-of-9 from three in this series (and according to Sports VU cameras, six of his eight missed threes are uncontested). Bosh has hit some jumpers from the top of the key and elbow areas (3-of-5 through two games) but by and large the Pacers are helping off him and not paying a price. He is 8-of-21 shooting for the series. Miami needs that to change.

The other thing Miami needs seems obvious but they haven’t consistently stuck with it this series — put the ball in LeBron James’ hands. As our own Dan Feldman pointed out at ESPN, through the first two games LeBron touched the ball once every 44 seconds, which sounds like a lot, but in the regular season he got a touch every 30 seconds he was on the court. When the ball is in LeBron’s hands good things tend to happen, Miami needs him to make those plays in more than just the last five minutes of he Game.

For the Pacers that has to start with Paul George and David West knocking down good looks. And Lance Stephenson continuing to (he has struggled in Miami). George started the last game 1-of-11 shooting before he got a concussion (from which he has been cleared to play), and finished 4-of-16. He was just 2-of-6 in the paint but the bigger problem was 0-of-5 from the midrange. George has to knock down his jumpers because those will be the cleanest looks he gets.

David West’s ability to knock down midrange shots and elbow jumpers is a big part of his offensive game, but he was just 2-of-8 form there.

What the Pacers have to keep doing is hitting threes — they are shooting 44.7 percent from beyond the arc for the series, making the Heat pay for their aggressive doubles and leaps into passing lanes. Miami had been all to often doubling from one pass away and the Pacers have made Miami pay on those.

Whichever teams gets its buckets is going to be up 2-1 by the end of Saturday night.

  1. cantonbound13 - May 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    How about 6’11 shooting guard Bosh Sipce?

  2. bucrightoff - May 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Chris Bosh shoots more three’s a game than he gets rebounds. What a “power” forward he is.

    • sportsfan18 - May 24, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      yeah, I get sarcasm… and the point you were making…

      but, for the record. for his career – 8.7 boards a game and only 0.7 three point shots a game.

      this past season, he took 2.8 three point shots a game and average

      Now, the 6′ 8″ & 230 lb Carmelo Anthony (to Bosh’s 6′ 10″ & 228 lbs) averages 3.1 three point shots per games in his career to only 6.4 boards a game. This season he averaged 5.4 three point shots a game to 8.1 boards a game.

      • bucrightoff - May 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        That’s his career average. Look at his recent averages, which matter a lot more because,well, they’re recent and more indicative of where he’s at now. He’s turned into a 3 point specialist. This year alone he’s shooting 4 times as many threes as his previous career average. He’s getting softer and Miami would greatly benefit from him opting out and leaving for a max deal.

      • asimonetti88 - May 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Yes, for his career he only takes 0.7 3P per game.

        But, in 2013-2014, he took 2.8 3P per game.

        His previous high was 1.0 3P per game, in 2012-2013.

        So he took almost THREE TIMES as many three point shots this season as his previous career high.

        He also averaged a career-low 6.6 RPG in 2013-2014, continuing a 4-year trend downward.

        Bosh actually averaged more 3P per game than Carmelo Anthony in 2013-2014.

    • leahcima1 - May 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Yeh bucrightoff all he does is win championship and everybody knows rebounds are more brownie points than championships. lol

    • antistratfordian - May 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      No kidding. And LeBron won rings with that dude at PF and C. Absolutely incredible, right?

      Could MJ win a ring with a wannabe SG at PF instead of Dennis Rodman or Horace Grant? I don’t think so.

  3. jbeagles23 - May 24, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I agree bosh shoots way too many threes but the heat don’t play by position. It’s the way the league is trending. Remember lebron was the starting center in the all star game.

  4. golfrangeman - May 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Cantonbound explain to us what sipce is.

  5. jzone954 - May 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    If Bosh can get going and be the player he is, this series is over in 6. The only reason this goes 7 is if Bosh continues to be luke warm on all sides of the ball and puts more pressure on someone else to contribute to help LBJ and Wade.

  6. turnmymicup - May 24, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Keep shooting those Bosh. He is getting good looks they just not dropping. The one he made in the 4th quarter Game 2 before the Cole 3 was crucial to the win. Yes more rebounds would be nice obviously. However Bosh playing in the paint all game doesn’t increase the Heats chance of winning. Hibbert will eat him up. They have to continue spacing the floor.

  7. rodge1 - May 24, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Haters are hilarious, especially since their teams are garbage.

  8. antistratfordian - May 24, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    I think most people would put their money on the Heat finding their shooting touch long before the Pacers do. Especially at home.

  9. kb2408 - May 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    It’s 17-4, Indy, with 3 mins to go in the 1st….Heat “fans” are headed for the exits!!

    • cantonbound13 - May 24, 2014 at 9:05 PM

      You mean the few that actually got to the game on time.

  10. johnc44 - May 24, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    I don`t know why anybody was worried about George playing.If Lebron & Wade would just run into him or fall down around him 6 times he`ll be out.They weren`t going to let this game get away.

  11. wallabear - May 24, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Three-Peat Heat’s Ray Allen is like the ’86 METS: simply Amazin’!

  12. rodge1 - May 24, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    @kb2408

    What was the final score?… What’s Kobe up to these days?

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