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Can Indiana Pacers Beat Miami HEAT?
Posted By Joel Brigham On May 22, 2013 @ 12:00 pm In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
It’s a fair question to ask: Do the Indiana Pacers have any shot at defeating the Miami HEAT over the course of a seven-game series?
There’s always a chance, obviously. Despite the insane odds, someone eventually wins the Powerball. But in this case that chance is a very small one, especially when one considers the fact that Miami has lost only four times over the course of their last 48 games. To think that they’d lose four times over the course of the next seven is borderline insane, even if the competition is good.
However, that won’t stop the Pacers from trying. In fact, Indiana has been pretty effective against Miami over the course of the last year. Remember that they held a 2-1 series lead over the HEAT in the Eastern Conference Semis last year, and finished with a 2-1 season series win over them just this past regular season.
Indiana was also one of the top defensive team in their conference, finishing fourth in opponents’ points per game, fifth in opponents’ field goal percentage and first in rebounding. Their offensive identity has come a long way since learning Danny Granger would be lost for the season, and Paul George and Roy Hibbert have both emerged as franchise cornerstones this postseason, with George Hill and Lance Stephenson not that far behind them.
To be honest, the Pacers have looked pretty good these playoffs. There’s no question that they’ve come a long way in only a year, and they’ve probably earned the right to be called the Eastern Conference’s second-best team.
Miami has been even better in those defensive categories, topping the league in both opponents’ field goal percentage and opponents’ points per game. Defensively, the HEAT are every bit as good as Indiana, just in different and sometimes more effective ways. If that weren’t enough, Miami is way more polished on the offensive end, as well. They’re one of the most efficient scoring teams in the NBA, while the Pacers are terribly inconsistent when it comes to putting the biscuit in the basket.
In the Conference Finals, when both teams are great defensively, it’s more important than ever to have confident, dominant veterans that can still find ways to score the ball. Miami has that in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, while nobody on the Pacers has really gotten there yet.
It’s not the Pacers’ fault that they’re still coming along, but that’s just the way it is. Getting to the Conference Finals is a huge achievement for them and definitely a major step in the right direction for the franchise, but Miami already has that experience. They’ve already been over the hump, and they know how to win these kinds of games.
Add to that the fact that they’re the more talented team, and there really doesn’t appear to be any way that the Pacers can win this series. They’ll leave Miami with some bumps and bruises en route to the NBA Finals, but this just isn’t Indy’s series to win.
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