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Miami Heat Vs. Indiana Pacers: Eastern Conference Finals Game Three Playoff Preview

May 26th, 2013 at 8:44 AM
By Ira Luke

'DSC00483' photo (c) 2012, Bill Stanley - license:
It wasn't long before the Miami Heat figured out that size will matter in this series. In this instance, the imposing size of Roy Hibbert dominated the interior and led the Indiana Pacers to a victory in Game two to even the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat will now hit the road for Game three at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to try and regain the lead in the best of seven series on Sunday night.

Hibbert's playoff career high 29 point-10 rebound performance led Indy's attack. Paul George remained hot in the playoffs scoring 22 points and even added a highlight reel dunk over the Heat's Chris Andersen in the third quarter.

LeBron James had a spectacular second half scoring 19 of 36 points and was able to aid the multiple comebacks by the Heat. James gave Miami a lead with 3:31 left in the game but the team failed to make another field goal at the end of the game. It was a hoop by David West and his defense on the opposite end that gave the Pacers the edge late and got them home court advantage heading back home. 

The Pacers are undefeated at home this postseason winning all six games at the Fieldhouse. They are a very good team at home and feed off the energy of the home crowd. It will be up to the Heat to prove their league best road record was no fluke as they head into a hostile environment. Miami is 4-0 in this year's playoffs on the road. Also, Indiana is much better at home offensively, getting four wins by scoring 100 points or more in the playoffs. In Game 1, Indy got to 100 points in overtime and proved they have scorers to keep up with Miami.

As a team with a high scoring bench, that was not the case for the Heat in Game two because no one even hit double figures outside of "The Big Three" in Game two. James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 67 of the Heat's 93 points. With minimal contributions from the bench, it was hard for James to dish the ball to his teammates with the lack of efficiency from reserves and the defense of the Pacers. The bench must get involved early on so they can take some of the stress off of the starters especially Wade and Chalmers.

Wade is still nursing a bone bruise on his right knee that he has admitted will not get better with rest and that he will have to play through the pain at such an important part of team's season. Chalmers injured his left shoulder in series opener but was able to play a full load of minutes in Game two. He appeared to aggravate the injury when West made contact with the shoulder early in the game. Chalmers was limited to six points and missed both of his three-point field goal attempts. Both Wade and Chalmers are listed as probable and are expected to play on Sunday night.

Indiana guard George Hill played Game two with a sprained toe on his left foot and came up with 18 points including the final four free throws that sealed the victory. With a solid stat line in Game two, he should be good to go in the next game.

The Heat will need to play better defense and find a way to stop Hibbert and West from getting so much action in the paint. The mismatches caused by Indiana down low is causing Miami fits and is showing their most noticeable flaw, which is the lack of size. On the offensive end, the bench needs to step up if the defending champs want to reclaim home court advantage in Game 3. If this game is like the previous two, expect both teams to grind it out and take it down to the wire with the Heat trying to win its first game in Indiana since last year's playoff run.


Tags: Basketball, David West, Dwyane Wade, Eastern Conference Finals, Indiana Pacers, LeBron James, Miami, Miami Heat, NBA, Pacers, Roy Hibbert

2 Responses to “Miami Heat Vs. Indiana Pacers: Eastern Conference Finals Game Three Playoff Preview”

  1.  Ericson Flores says:

    Miami Heat Vs Indiana Pacers Game 3 @

    Miami Heat Vs Indiana Pacers Game 3 @

    Miami Heat Vs Indiana Pacers Game 3 @

  2.  Ericson Flores says:

    Miami Heat Vs Indiana Pacers Game 3 @

    Miami Heat Vs Indiana Pacers Game 3 @

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