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Danny

Indiana Pacers at Miami HEAT Game 1 Thread and Preview

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(Photo Credit: Nathaniel Butler

 

The Miami HEAT host the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena. The HEAT defeated the Pacers 4-2 in last season's Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Tip off is set for 8:30 PM.

 

1: How are the Pacers going to defend the HEAT?

Couper Moorhead: While Indiana employs many of the same principles as the Chicago Bulls, this defense is a little safer in that it tries to keep the ball in front rather than funnel the ball into inefficient zones. That means the Pacers are generally OK with giving up mid-range jumpers, something that should benefit Chris Bosh throughout this series, but it doesn’t mean they just pack the paint and give up open threes. Between George Hill, Paul George and Lance Stephenson, there is a lot of length and athleticism on the perimeter, allowing the Pacers to swarm the paint while still closing out hard on the perimeter. Jumpers and floaters will be there, but the HEAT are going to have to work to generate threes. 

 
Danny Martinez: Pretty conservatively. Roy Hibbert and David West almost always sag back when defending the pick-and-roll, all but ensuring they can’t be beat to the basket by a ball handler. It’s similar to what Chicago did in the last series, but Hibbert lacks Noah’s quickness and is thus much more reactive. On the perimeter, the Pacers have the athletes to give the HEAT fits. George Hill, Lance Stephenson an Paul George all matchup fairly well with the HEAT’s perimeter players, at least to the extent that massive help is unexpected. The Pacers are the only team to force more inefficient shots than the Bulls this season. The HEAT were patient and didn’t settle against the Bulls. They’ll have to do the same against Indiana.

2: How are the Pacers going to attack the HEAT?

Couper: Indiana post-ups more than any team in the league, so a large percentage of their possessions are going to revolve around setting up the post, working around it or using it as a decoy for a weakside action. It’s no secret that the HEAT are going to front the post as much as possible, especially when they use smaller, floor spacing lineups, and that’s going to put a ton of pressure on the second Miami big man to be ready to slide over and defend the lob. If you see the Pacers spending more than a few seconds trying to enter the ball into the post, then the HEAT are functioning as desired. The idea is to either force a turnover, or kill the clock until the Pacers have to resort to emergency offense – something Indiana does not excel at.

 
Danny: With their big guys. The Pacers will dump it into the post a lot. David West will work the space between the elbow and the block, mixing in bull rushes and fadeaways as he sees fit. Roy Hibbert will unleash a large number of hook shots from just a few feet outside the perimeter. When these, and other shots, miss, the Pacers will attack the offensive glass. It’s there that they will find their easiest points. However, the HEAT have been good this postseason at keeping opponents off of the offensive glass. Neither Hill, Stephenson nor George are excellent creators from the outside, but they’re all skilled and can execute basic pick-and-rolls or step out and knock down open threes.

3: What has to consistently happen for the Pacers to win games in this series?

Couper: The HEAT cannot get threes, much less make them, but the Pacers have to keep finding ways to score to keep pace with Miami. Whether that means hitting tough, contested threes, getting career nights out of guys as they did with Lance Stephenson against New York or executing timing-based high-low offense to get around the HEAT fronts, they have to find a consistent source of efficiency. It doesn’t have to be the same source every game, but there has to be something that Indiana can rely on, even if it is something as simple as offensive rebounding.
 
Danny: They’ve got to find a way to stop the Miami Efficiency Machine, which is what I’ve come to call this HEAT team, especially when they’re on offense. The HEAT work hard to get shots at the rim, in the paint and in the corners, all of which are places the Pacers focus on defensively. It took a while last season, but the HEAT were ultimately able to find ways to crack the Indiana defense. The Pacers will also need to score efficiently, and a lot of that will be dependent on their work on the offensive glass. The Pacers will have a size advantage for much of the game, and they must leverage this to get second chance opportunities. If they can keep the HEAT out of the high-value shooting zones while dominating the offensive glass, the Pacers have a chance to cause some serious trouble.

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What's up my fellow HEATians? It's been a long wait, but we're back. Another tough series for our HEAT. It's going to be paramount for MIAMI's snipers to hit the target tonight, especially since the Pacers tend to pack the paint. Producing from the outside will force Hibbert and West to vacate the paint, thus allowing lanes for easier penetration. The main thing in game 1, just win; however it comes, just win...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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Cant wait to see again our arena in ALL WHITE !

 

 

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Wade looks ready after facing the medias

 

 

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We need to have great ball movement and we need to attack the basket in transition. Defensively we have to stay competitive on the boards. Indiana is going to be a very tough out. LET'S GO HEAT!

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TNT crew is already getting on my nerves. Charles Barkley is such a hater. Heat fans need to chant something at him. Reggie Miller AND Steve Kerr calling the game, t.v.'s getting muted for sure. Lol

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KENNY SMITH SAID PACERS IN 6 LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Everything these TNT haters say makes me do a facepalm. Kenny and Chuck both picking the Pacers to win the series. Keep drinkin' that Haterade guys. I think they say this crap just for the shock value of it because all of the ESPN/ABC crew picked the Heat in 5 or 6.

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KENNY SMITH SAID PACERS IN 6 LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hes mad Pacers beat his Knicks.

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