Can HEAT Fix Their Offensive Struggles?
This series didn’t just get started, it got suddenly interesting in the wake of the Pacers’ 78-75 win. The Pacers, of course, now have the momentum and the home-court advantage. The Heat, of course, are facing some doubt after their first foray without the injured Chris Bosh was an offensive disaster that may not have a simple fix.
As the Heat dragged themselves off the court and absorbed their first home loss in the Eastern Conference playoffs in the Big Three era, the Pacers did a little celebrating at center court. One game is just that, but it was hard not to miss that the talent level between the two teams suddenly looked a lot closer. It could mean this series is going to be a lot longer than once expected.
In between those broad realities, though, there were plenty of hooks in the way the game played out and what it might mean for the immediate future. Plus plenty of areas to debate, the essence of any good playoff game.
The Heat got 28 points from LeBron James and 24 points from Dwyane Wade. Combined they had 21 points in a vigorous fourth-quarter comeback attempt. But they both came up short at crucial moments, seeming to undercut the whole thing.
Wade blew a layup with 16 seconds left that would’ve tied the game. He also had a second consecutive miserable shooting game, going 8-of-22. His jump shot has completely deserted him in the playoffs thus far. He’s 12-of-49 (25 percent) on jumpers in the postseason and 4-of-19 (21 percent) in the two games against the Pacers.
“If we had to do it all over again, we would all take [the same shots],” Wade said. “I thought we got some good looks; we just missed them.”