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Thread: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

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    Default Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    How Indy can rock

    Ways the Pacers could beat Bosh-less Heat (PER Diem: May 15, 2012)

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/playo...ce-mean-pacers


    Updated: May 15, 2012, 1:46 PM ET
    By John Hollinger | ESPN.com



    • Difficult Injury For Chris Bosh


      • Next Level: Missing Chris Bosh

        Next Level examines how the Heat have fared with and without Chris Bosh on the court.Tags: Next Level, Samsung





      With good reason, everybody is focusing on what Chris Bosh's absence means for the Miami Heat.

      But how about turning that question on its head: What does Bosh's absence mean for the Pacers? You know, the Heat's opponent in this thing? The one who would have a clear path to the Finals themselves if they somehow can outlast Miami?
      With Bosh out indefinitely because of an abdominal strain, an Indiana team that already matched up pretty well against Miami now appears to have a window open to stealing the series.
      However, they're already in a tight spot. The Heat went up 1-0 on Sunday, making Game 2 almost a must-win for the Pacers. Historically, teams down 2-0 eventually lose the series 94 percent of the time -- in the first round, Denver, Utah, New York and Dallas joined that group.
      Leave Miami with a split, though, and the odds improve dramatically. Teams that do so have nearly a 40 percent chance of taking the series. (Weird fact: Teams that win Game 1 and lose Game 2 have done much better than teams that do the opposite. In theory it shouldn't matter which game is won or lost since it's a split either way; in practice, teams that get a split by winning Game 2 on the road are 34-74; those that get it by winning Game 1 are 48-47.)
      So the Pacers need a win tonight, which won't be easy against an opponent with the two best players on the floor and a suffocating defense even in Bosh's absence.

      With and without Bosh

      Indy has some advantages in its favor. For starters, the Heat without Bosh are definitely worse off. While our Tom Haberstroh noted that Miami actually played better with Dwyane Wade-LeBron James alignments than with all three stars on the court, partly because those lineups were usually playing other team's second units, that's only part of the equation.
      Miami can play Wade-James for much of the game, but not all of it. And the picture shifts dramatically in "monostar" lineups. Miami was +38 in 612 minutes with James as the only one of their three All-Stars on the floor, and -10 in 53 minutes with Wade. Combined, that's just 2.0 points per 48 minutes better than break-even.
      They were an ordinary team, in other words, when James or Wade had to ride alone. Moreover, Miami will need to play that way for about a third of every game or longer, presuming they want to keep both players at around 40 minutes of game action and stagger their rest periods. (Not staggering their rest would be even more disastrous; the Heat were outscored by over 20 points per 48 minutes without any of their three stars on the floor.)

      The free throw game

      And this is where a second key point from Game 1 comes in: Fouls. Indiana's unique strategy of complaining about the officiating before the series even started didn't appear to pay dividends in the opener; Miami had a 38-28 advantage in free throw attempts and several key Pacers were in foul trouble all game.
      But in the big picture, high-foul games could be strongly to the Pacers' advantage if they can get some of the fouls on LeBron and Wade. Virtually all of Indiana's games this season were foul-laden slogs: The Pacers were third in the NBA in free-throw attempts per field goal attempt, and fouled nearly as often (fifth). They're not quite Utah, but they're getting close.
      Miami itself is a high free throw team, ranking fourth in attempts and at the league average at the defensive end. Based on those data points, we should expect Miami to have an advantage.
      Looking at personal fouls rather than free throw attempts puts this disparity in sharper detail. Paul George, Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, Dahntay Jones and Leandro Barbosa all averaged about a foul every 10 minutes; Louis Amundson averaged one every six. The only Miami players who fouled that frequently were Ronny Turiaf and Norris Cole, and in Cole's case I'm using the words "rotation player" with Nash-like generosity.
      Indiana's foul trouble in Game 1 may have been more serious than it will be in other games, compounded by the foolishness of George Hill's fifth foul. (Suggestion: If you want a timeout, just call it. Why have the guard dribble to the bench and risk a turnover? This drives me crazy.) Nonetheless, we have pretty strong evidence that foul issues will linger all series for the Pacers.
      On the surface, that's a problem; as I've noted before, Indiana's starting five was nearly the equal of Miami's in the regular season, but the Pacers played poorly once their bench guys had to come in.
      On the other hand, there's a big "however" here: Foul trouble will disproportionately impact Miami if it impacts two players in particular. The Pacers have halfway-decent subs at every position, while the Heat do not. If Miami resorts to using those players to replace Wade or LeBron, even if just for a few extra minutes, it's a huge advantage for the Pacers.

      Changing the rotation

      With Bosh out the picture and Miami going small for big chunks of the game, it also leaves the door open for Indiana to tweak its rotation to get better players on the floor. In particular, it seems the Pacers can mothball Amundson for the rest of the series and give his minutes to Jones, a perimeter defender who can match up with Wade or LeBron when Miami is playing small. (The most bizarre part of Game 1 was when Amundson came in for a foul-plagued Hibbert, rather than Hansbrough, and played a five-minute stretch of the third quarter with the other starters. Bosh was already out of the game, too.)
      The concern for Indiana is going too small. When the Pacers play Darren Collison and Leandro Barbosa together in the backcourt, they're vulnerable to Miami's "big-small" lineup that features a bunch of 6-foot-8 guys and Wade. In Game 1, Barbosa, who can barely guard melting tar, had to check Wade and was completely overmatched. Losing Hill to fouls was huge in this regard, as he could have checked Wade more adroitly playing the 2 beside Collison.
      Again, Jones can be a factor. Miami's "big-small" lineup with LeBron, Wade, Miller and Battier is a tough matchup, but if Indiana plays its point guard on Battier and plays Jones, the Pacers can handle it even if Danny Granger or George is resting.

      Shooting

      Pacers fans will point out that Granger and George shot a combined 2-for-15, and even with Miami's best defenders checking them they're likely to do better than that in Game 2. Fair enough, but that cuts both ways. Miami didn't make a single 3-pointer in Game 1 and Wade shot 8-for-23. Both sides shot 40 percent for the game and I expect each to shoot more accurately in Game 2.
      The more technical point is whether the Pacers can convert corner 3s against the Heat.
      On the regular season, Miami allowed 40.2 percent shooting on corner 3s -- eighth worst in the league -- but was the second-best defense in the restricted area.
      The best way to score easily on Miami is to take advantage of its willingness to abandon the corner to protect the basket. Unfortunately, the corner 3 isn't really in Indy's wheelhouse. The Pacers were 20th in corner-3 frequency this year at 4.7 per game, according to NBA.com's advanced stats tool, and also 20th in accuracy at 35.4 percent. Indiana, in fact, was one of only five teams that were better at shooting 3s above the break than in the corner.
      So it was in Game 1. The Pacers had five corner-3 tries and made just one of them. But this is where good offenses can burn Miami; just ask Dallas.
      Watch this especially in Game 2. Bosh's absence clearly leaves an opening, but I suspect the Pacers need to make more corner 3s to drive through it.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Our time is now, gotta take it..

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    He discusses some of the stuff already discussed, specifically how Jones should get Amundson's minutes. I think a Hibbert, West and Hans trio would be enough against a LeBron + 1 PF/C lineup. Whistle happy but consistent refs would also favour Indy because Miami has less depth. I have noticed the Pacers not taking the contact when they get opponents in the air, which is Paul Pierce's trademark. Collison tried once but wasn't given the call as he seemed to lean too far to create contact, but they do need to try to get the big 2 in foul trouble. The thing about the corner 3s is that misses can lead to fast breaks at the other end.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Coupe View Post
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    Our time is now, gotta take it..
    Absolutely. I don't care if Bosh being out puts an asterisk by this series for some people if we win. Sending LeBron fishing would be outstanding.
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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Indy View Post
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    Whistle happy but consistent refs would also favour Indy because Miami has less depth. I have noticed the Pacers not taking the contact when they get opponents in the air, which is Paul Pierce's trademark. Collison tried once but wasn't given the call as he seemed to lean too far to create contact, but they do need to try to get the big 2 in foul trouble.
    I've heard several people say this, as if it'd be possible to foul out Wade or Lebron.

    Here, let's have the next game be fun. Have every single player we have drive at Wade or Lebron.

    What will end up happening is, we'll foul out our entire team, and they'll end up with a couple fouls, because there's no way the refs are fouling them out.
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  9. #6

    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Tonight means everything.

    Historically, lose and the odds are 6% to advance to the ECFs;
    win and the odds are 40% to advance.

    If we get up by 10 in the 1st half we need the step-on-the-throat mentality that the Thunder showed last night.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    I hate the idea that Miami going small is beneficial because it allows us to go small. Our advantage is our front court and we need to stick to that. If Miami goes small, we need to make them pay by abusing them even more with our size. I hate when coaches constantly try to match the other coaches moves. You need to make them adjust to you, not the other way around.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    FEZ. NOW.
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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.ThunderMakeR View Post
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    I hate the idea that Miami going small is beneficial because it allows us to go small. Our advantage is our front court and we need to stick to that. If Miami goes small, we need to make them pay by abusing them even more with our size. I hate when coaches constantly try to match the other coaches moves. You need to make them adjust to you, not the other way around.
    That's what I was thinking when I first heard they would likely go small.. But then I started thinking, if we played our same big lineup with Hibbert and West, Lebron would eat West alive with his athletic ability.. You almost have to switch to avoid that. It's unfortunate but at the same time it allows Granger to not be guarded by Lebron, who is in Danny's head right now. That would be huge for us if Danny could get his. The only thing I can think of as a possibility to leaving those guys in when Miami has their small ball lineup in is if we play zone.. But we need to practice it before putting it to the test in the playoffs against the Heat.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownagedood View Post
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    That's what I was thinking when I first heard they would likely go small.. But then I started thinking, if we played our same big lineup with Hibbert and West, Lebron would eat West alive with his athletic ability.. You almost have to switch to avoid that. It's unfortunate but at the same time it allows Granger to not be guarded by Lebron, who is in Danny's head right now. That would be huge for us if Danny could get his. The only thing I can think of as a possibility to leaving those guys in when Miami has their small ball lineup in is if we play zone.. But we need to practice it before putting it to the test in the playoffs against the Heat.
    He might eat West alive with his athleticism, but having West and Hibbert down low is tough for anyone to get through, and if LeBron plays the entire game as a jump shooter, I will be happy with that. Especially if it means Danny can get going offensively.

    We saw in the Orlando series that if we can have one of West OR Hibs going and get decent production from 3/4 of our wing rotation, we will be ok.

    And if LeBron is really going to work on the block, Danny can double off his man. If Battier beats us, we deserve it.
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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy View Post
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    He might eat West alive with his athleticism, but having West and Hibbert down low is tough for anyone to get through, and if LeBron plays the entire game as a jump shooter, I will be happy with that. Especially if it means Danny can get going offensively.

    We saw in the Orlando series that if we can have one of West OR Hibs going and get decent production from 3/4 of our wing rotation, we will be ok.

    And if LeBron is really going to work on the block, Danny can double off his man. If Battier beats us, we deserve it.
    If Lebron plays a lot of his minutes at the 4, we may be in trouble. He's obviously a mismatch on offense, but he would pretty much lock-up our most consistent offensive threat in West as well. Danny MIGHT be able to get his, but Shane Battier is a good defender as well. Though Danny isn't as afraid of him as he is with Lebron, I think Battier can hang with DG for stretches during the game.

    We may need to play a little match-up zone, And just make sure we don't let their 3-pt shooters kill us.

    But at this point I just want to see us come out and set the tempo for not only this game, but the rest of this series. I truly hope we win tonight because if not, this series may be over a little bit quicker than we all want.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Did anybody notice how far Battier's defense has slipped?

    I hope that Battier gets a boatload of minutes, because whomever he is guarding, instead of being guarded by Lebron, should just flat-out try to abuse him. As timidly as Danny played, when Battier switched onto him is when he was able to penetrate twice in a row.
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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza guy View Post
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    He might eat West alive with his athleticism, but having West and Hibbert down low is tough for anyone to get through, and if LeBron plays the entire game as a jump shooter, I will be happy with that. Especially if it means Danny can get going offensively.

    We saw in the Orlando series that if we can have one of West OR Hibs going and get decent production from 3/4 of our wing rotation, we will be ok.

    And if LeBron is really going to work on the block, Danny can double off his man. If Battier beats us, we deserve it.
    I would think that if/when the Heat go small, and if the Pacers stay big, then Vogel would put West on Battier and keep Granger on LeBron.

    West on LeBron, as mentioned, is a disaster waiting to happen. But West isn't a shotblocker, so I don't think the Pacers would be hurt protecting the rim (especially if Anthony or Turiaf is the 5). The key would be rebounding. It'd put a lot of pressure on Hibbert and the wings to hit the boards.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Love the idea of Dahntay getting Lou's minutes.

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    Default Re: Hollinger: How Indy can rock

    Quote Originally Posted by shags View Post
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    I would think that if/when the Heat go small, and if the Pacers stay big, then Vogel would put West on Battier and keep Granger on LeBron.

    West on LeBron, as mentioned, is a disaster waiting to happen. But West isn't a shotblocker, so I don't think the Pacers would be hurt protecting the rim (especially if Anthony or Turiaf is the 5). The key would be rebounding. It'd put a lot of pressure on Hibbert and the wings to hit the boards.
    D.west showed that if focused, he's able to stay with slower footed 3pt shooters last round. We would have to do a masterful job of not allowing dribble penetration.

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