Two games into this fantastic Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers series, we’ve learned one thing, the Pacers are ready to take out the Heat. Yes, I know it’s only two games, but look over these two games. You had the Pacers one play away from getting game one. Even then, they had a seven point lead in the second half that they could have run away with. And they took a furious Heat run that ended up with the Heat out in front in that third quarter. Paul George hits an amazing three pointer to take the game into overtime, and we all know what happened there. But one play, and this series would be 2-0 Pacers, and just imagine what the sports gurus would be saying.
Then in game two, perhaps the most telling sign that this Pacers team is ready to take out the Heat, no celebration like last season after the Pacers won. It was just get off the court and go home to what will be a rocking crowd of blue and gold faithful. I can only imagine what Banker’s Life Fieldhouse will be like tomorrow night. The Pacers took another shot from the Heat, and Lebron James who scored 36 points, but committed two big turnovers in the final minute of last night’s game. The Pacers played a big part in that as their defense was spectacular as it’s been most of this season. This is a BIG reason why the Pacers could handle the Heat over the next games at home. Their defense has really held the Heat in check to the tune of 93 points in last night’s game, which is under their average of 98 points per game. Paul George and Lebron James really have had some battle one on one, and even with Lebron getting his points last night, Paul got the better end by his team getting the victory.
Perhaps one other area, the Pacers have such a big advantage is the big men. Roy Hibbert and David West looked to be way ahead of whatever the Heat put out there as big men defenders. Sure, Chris Anderson is “shooting” well, more like putting up tip ins and what not. But he’s no match for West or Hibbert. Hibbert last night got a playoff high of 29 points. But he’s also grabbed plenty of rebounds, especially on the offensive end. He’s keeping plays alive for the Pacers, and that’s a huge advantage. His presence in the middle at the defensive end is key as well.
But it’s the poise of the Pacers that is most impressive. This team BELIEVES they can upset the Heat. To them, it wouldn’t be an upset. It would be just another step in the journey to the NBA Finals. With the promise they are showing, I am getting antsy about what the next games could bring. You want to be confident as the Pacers haven’t lost at home this post season, and actually have won by double figures in those meetings. The Pacers took care of the Heat easily here in Indy during the regular season, so I believe the Pacers will be hungry for a win come tomorrow night. I think that they will come out with the right attitude, and bring the crowd alive with some fantastic play that could put them up 2-1….just like last year’s battle with the Heat. Hopefully, THIS year’s outcome is in the Pacers’ favor.