View Full Version : Zach Lowe Article: How the league is preparing for Miami

10-15-2012, 01:40 PM
Interesting article on how teams could attempt to combat the Heat "Small-ball" lineup, although you have to wade through the typical homerism from Zach.

I've pasted the parts about the Pacers into the spoiler below:

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers aren’t in the title discussion yet, but they’d like to be, and they deserve mention here after their hard-fought six-game loss to Miami last spring. The Pacers would seem ideally suited to play smaller, with three rangy starting wing players in George Hill, Danny Granger, and Paul George. They played small a ton in both 2009-10 and 2010-11, with Granger sliding to power forward.

But Frank Vogel essentially abandoned that setup last season, a move that made sense considering how effective Indiana was with both Roy Hibbert and David West on the floor. Also: Leandro Barbosa was the only backup wing Vogel trusted for major minutes at the end of last season, and he was borderline unplayable against Miami if there wasn’t someplace convenient for him to hide on defense. The Magic actually forced the Pacers' hand by going small in one first-round game, and the Pacers looked totally out of sorts in blowing a late-game lead.

And that was essentially it for small ball, even as Miami transitioned into a nearly full-time “small” team over the last three games of the conference semifinals. Indiana dipped its toe into the water, but no small lineup (i.e., a lineup featuring just one of the Hibbert/West/Lou Amundson/Tyler Hansbrough group) logged more than four minutes combined over the six-game set, per NBA.com.

Would that change this season? Indiana found a new backup center in Ian Mahinmi, and this team clearly identifies itself as a big, physical group. They thrive off of offensive rebounds, earn a ton of foul shots, and often work inside-out. They swapped one small point guard (Darren Collison) with another (D.J. Augustin) and essentially replaced two backup wings with one in Gerald Green. Lance Stephenson is set to get minutes as the second backup wing, but we’ve heard that story before. Lineups featuring all four of Hill, George, Green, and Granger hold promise, though that removes either West or Hibbert — arguably Indy’s two best players. Perhaps Indiana in a Miami rematch would approach things the same way, hoping to win via size; after all, the Pacers were plus-31 against Miami in those six games when the Hibbert/West duo played, and minus-70 otherwise.


Don't know where the link went the first time I posted...

10-16-2012, 12:30 PM
You need to add a link. Thanks.