May 27, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
The Heat beat the Pacers in Game 4 last night for many reasons, but let’s start with one. Here are both teams’ marks from the free-throw line:
- Pacers: 11-of-17
- Heat: 30-of-34
An even free-throw disparity has absolutely nothing to do with whether a game is officiated well. Sometimes – quite often, probably – one team deserves more free throws than the other.
That was the case last night.
Just don’t tell that to Paul George, who made his case for a fine during his post-game press conference.
George, via ASAP Sports:
Looking at the stat sheet, we outplayed them. You got to give them credit. They won this game at the free‑throw line. They really just were able to get to the line more than we were, but I thought we outplayed them tonight.
This one‑‑ I thought we did a great job. I just thought we did a great job. We rallied at the end to try to make a push.
But, again, they made 30 free throws, and that put them over the edge.
I mean, you can’t tell me we don’t attack the basket as much as they attack the basket. You can’t tell me we’re not aggressive. Maybe we’re too aggressive. But I feel like we’re just as aggressive as they are attacking the basket and making plays at the rim. Maybe this was just home cooking.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were asked about George’s comments. As Wade gave a diplomatic answer about aggressiveness and having no control over the officials, LeBron studied the box score. When Wade finished, LeBron responded:
We did only have five turnovers, seven steals, and 20 points off their turnovers. That has nothing to do with the free-throw line.
There’s no simpler way to put this: LeBron is right, and George is wrong.
The Pacers shot better from the field and 3-point range than Miami. They also out-rebounded and out-assisted Miami. If you didn’t watch the game, maybe you could convince yourself Indiana was the better team and just didn’t catch a break.
But the Heat dominated the game, and the final score — along with some stats that go with it — are misleading. Nearly halfway through the fourth quarter, Miami led by 23. At that point – with LeBron out for part of it and Chris Bosh out for all of it – Indiana went on a 13-1 run.
The Heat deserved their free throws – at least enough of them to get this win comfortably. And turnovers count. Miami forced seven live-ball turnovers to the Pacers’ one.
George, who led Indiana with five turnovers, can’t just attribute the problem to bad luck. The Pacers, George included, are a bad ball-handling and bad passing team.
Maybe that’s because they don’t believe protecting the ball is as much a part of basketball as making shots and grabbing rebounds. I guess that’s their prerogative, or at least George’s.
They can keep that belief, keep “outplaying” their opponent and keep losing.
Apr 20, 2015, 11:07 PM EDT
Jimmy Butler’s 31 points led the way.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT
He was simply the most dominant player in Game 1 of the Mavericks vs. Rockets series.
Apr 20, 2015, 9:56 PM EDT
They did exactly that in Game 1.
Apr 20, 2015, 8:55 PM EDT
John Henson, O.J. Mayo, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah all got techs.
Apr 20, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT
I could try to use logic and suggest that discussing the complete legacy of Jordan with the incomplete legacy of James is a fool’s errand. But this is the Internet, logic is not always welcome.
Apr 20, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT
What you want to see as a Boston fan is Smart embrace the challenge.
Apr 20, 2015, 6:13 PM EDT
The Bulls should be in no rush to bring Hinrich back for this series.
Apr 20, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT
Also, Tyreke Evans is a game-time decision after his injury in the playoff opener.
Apr 20, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Rose was getting into the paint and making plays.
Apr 20, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT
The Clippers need a rebranding, but the leaked images are not winning over new fans.
Apr 20, 2015, 3:22 PM EDT
One of Ollie’s biggest fans? Kevin Durant
Monty Williams on Warriors home games: ‘I’m not so sure that the decibel level is legal there, and I’m serious’
Apr 20, 2015, 2:44 PM EDT
Is Pelicans coach actually serious?
Apr 20, 2015, 2:03 PM EDT
Whom else would Heat president mean?
Apr 20, 2015, 1:26 PM EDT
Smith committed four fouls in 19 minutes in Cavaliers-Celtics Game 1
Apr 20, 2015, 12:38 PM EDT
Full voting included
Apr 20, 2015, 11:57 AM EDT
And he’s not the only Portland player worried about Aldridge leaving
Apr 20, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT
Clippers tougher than Spurs in Game 1
Apr 20, 2015, 10:37 AM EDT
Admittedly, this was not the finest batch of questions in his postgame press conference
Apr 20, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT
And by fix, I mean smashing it and then tossing it aside when that doesn’t work
Apr 20, 2015, 9:26 AM EDT
Is it worth the risk?
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