- HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors - http://www.hoopsworld.com -
5 ways Pacers can keep up with Heat
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 20, 2013 @ 11:55 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
The Indiana Pacers are a confident bunch. They talk about how they’ve grown in the playoffs and how they’re applying what they learn to the next opponent.
After moving past the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, the Pacers take on the defending champion Miami Heat starting Wednesday with a trip to the Finals on the line. Indiana finished 16 games behind the Heat, had a sub-.500 record on the road and have to win four playoff games against a team that has lost three times since Feb. 2.
Impossible? No. Doable? Well, yeah, if so much goes right.
The Pacers can build off their 2-1 edge in the season series — the victories came in Indianapolis. While both teams are improved since those meetings, the Pacers’ two victories came before the Heat began demolishing most opponent and before forward Chris Andersen gave Miami more inside strength.
Miami beat Indiana 4-2 in last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals, and Heat forward Chris Bosh missed the final five games of that series with an abdominal strain. This time, guard Dwyane Wade is dealing with a bruised right knee and his scoring is down, but the Heat are still rolling. They have just one loss in the playoffs, and their average margin of victory is 13.9 points.
The Pacers are the underdogs, but they can make this a competitive series and possibly upset the Heat. Here’s how:
STEP NO. 1: Steal the first game
The Pacers won Game 1 against the Knicks in New York and set the tone for the rest of that series. The Knicks were never able to recover.
Indiana has another factor in its favor. The Heat lost Game 1 to the Chicago Bulls in the conference semifinals after a seven-day layoff . They just had another significant break — six full days off between the end of their series against the Chicago and the start of the conference finals.
“Obviously, it’s a great environment and they’re a great home team,” Pacers forward David West said. “But we’ve grown in our ability to win on the road in tough environments. We’re going … [For more on 5 ways Indiana Pacers can keep up with Miami Heat, click here.]
Article printed from HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors: http://www.hoopsworld.com
URL to article: http://www.hoopsworld.com/5-ways-pacers-can-keep-up-with-heat
Copyright © 2013 HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
Part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.