Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals was thought to be Indiana’s best opportunity to steal a game in Miami. Following a foul by Dwayne Wade on a Paul George three point attempt in overtime it looked likely that they would. George was able to sink all three free throws effortlessly giving the Pacers a one point lead while leaving only a little over two seconds for the Heat to attempt to hit the game winner. Vogel made a questionable decision to sit Hibbert for the final defensive stand and Paul George overplayed the inbounds to Lebron James leaving a wide open lane to the basket. The end result was a James lay-up and the final two points that Miami would need to walk away with a victory.
The thought process of many fans and speculators was that this loss would be deflating to the young Indiana Pacer squad. This was not the case.
Game 2 was very much a mirror image of Game 1 for Indiana. They were able to not only keep pace with the Heat, but led much of the way.
All of the Pacers starters were in double figures and as a team they were able to protect the ball much better committing only 13 turnovers. Roy Hibbert led the way with 29 points and snagged 10 rebounds while Paul George had another big game adding 22 points of his own.
The two biggest plays of the game came from veteran forward David West who was able to knock away two passes from Lebron James on the Heat’s final two possessions.
It appears to me that although Miami is highly favored in the series that they obviously don’t match-up well with the younger and more physical Pacers team. Indiana is unbeaten at home in this year’s playoffs and I predict that this will not change. I am agreeing with Charles Barkley, former player and an analyst for TNT, and picking the Pacers in 6 games.