- HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors - http://www.hoopsworld.com -
Only one Pacer knows about Game 7s
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On June 2, 2013 @ 8:04 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
At some point Monday, associate head coach Brian Shaw will have a conversation with the Indiana Pacers.
It could before the team’s morning shoot-around at American Airlines Arena. It could be after. It may not be until right before the team takes the court at 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT) for the biggest game of most of the players’ NBA careers.
Game 7. Eastern Conference finals. On the road. At the Miami Heat, the two-time defending East champs.
Shaw doesn’t know how long he’ll talk, but the gist of the message will be simple: Leave it all out there and don’t head back to the locker room after the game with any regrets.
Shaw would know. He’s played and coached in “more Game 7s than I can remember,” he says.
The rest of the Pacers? Not so much.
Backup center Ian Mahinmi is the only player on the Pacers’ roster who had reached the conference finals in his career prior to this season.
“You have to lose yourself in it because everybody dreams of these situations as a kid,” Shaw said. “The pressure is on (the Heat); they’re the defending champions. It’s on their home court. They were expected to win the series by everyone’s predication besides ours. The guys just need to hang loose and have fun, don’t save anything, leave it all out the floor and see what happens.”
The teams have alternated victories throughout the series, with the Pacers evening things up at 3 with a 91-77 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday.
The Heat, who have been a one-man show named LeBron James for most of the series, have not lost back-to-back games since January.
Monday will be the first Game 7 for the Pacers since they blew out the Boston Celtics on their court in the first round of the playoffs in 2005. The Heat beat the Celtics in seven games in last year’s conference finals.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel told the team at the beginning of season that they would have to beat the Heat — likely in seven games — if the franchise expected to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since … [For more on Only one Indiana Pacer really knows about Game 7s, click here.]
Article printed from HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors: http://www.hoopsworld.com
URL to article: http://www.hoopsworld.com/only-one-pacer-knows-about-game-7s
Copyright © 2013 HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
Part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group.