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Thread: Pacers / Heat article thread...

  1. #1
    Rebirth. docpaul's Avatar
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    Default Pacers / Heat article thread...

    MIAMI -- Hyping the Heat-Knicks first-round series?

    That was about as easy as selling a televised singing competition.

    All you had to do was mention any combination of the words Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James,Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire, Madison Square Garden or "playoff rivalry" and there was bound to be a sexy element to get the anticipatory juices flowing.

    It wasn't a "warm-up series" for Miami. It was the glam series of the first round, even if it didn't have potential for lasting particularly long.

    There was as much interest in LeBron defending Carmelo as there was in the actual outcome of each game. As much enthusiasm from Heat players about playing in the Garden as there was ending the series there.
    That stimulating, if not always competitive, series is over, ending as many predicted, with the Heat disposing of New York in five games.

    Now comes the harder part.

    Playing Indiana should be slightly more difficult than facing the Knicks, sure.

    But the more problematic component might just be selling the idea that this Heat-Pacers series is anywhere near as compelling as the postseason opener was.

    After Wednesday's clincher, the Heat had every chance to market this thing as a sneaky-exciting series.
    James was asked what he expects in the upcoming series, given the problems the Pacers gave the Heat in the regular season.

    LeBron, frankly, was stumped by the question.

    "I don't think they've given us too many problems, personally," he said after a thoughtful pause. "We've played some great ball against them. I think we've given more problems than they've given us."

    He was just being honest, of course. The Heat were 3-1 against Indiana in the regular season, with the loss coming during Miami's worst stretch of the season, a 5-6 spell that started in late March.

    In fact, the most memorable moment of any Heat-Pacers matchup in the Big Three era was Wade's one-armed, full-court, pin-point alley-oop pass to James last season.

    Not exactly conjuring up images of a budding rivalry.

    How about a playoff history? There's nothing like reflections of nasty postseason clashes between franchises to serve as table-setters.

    Remember much from that six-game 2004 Heat-Pacers series, Dwyane?

    "Obviously, one of my favorite all-time series because it was one of my first ones," Wade said. "I think that's when I made a little name for myself, in that series."

    That's hardly P.J. Brown flipping Charlie Ward into a row of photographers. Fond memories of playoffs past don't make for high-quality drama.

    Leave it to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to come up with a hook -- even if it really isn't that convincing.
    "It's a team that's playing at an extreme high confidence level right now," Spoelstra said of the Pacers. "This next series I'm sure will feel like it's played in a cage rather than a basketball court. It will be extremely physical."

    Whoa now, Spo.

    Let's not confuse the Pacers with the Chicago Bulls anytime soon.

    This group is big with 7-foot-3 Roy Hibbert manning the paint, and it does have some length, athleticism and a Psycho-T.

    But physical isn't the first place you go when thinking of Indiana.

    This is a team that averaged nearly 103 points in the regular-season portion of April. And after that 77-point stinker in their playoff opener against Orlando, the Pacers played more like their usual selves, finishing with back-to-back triple-digit efforts.

    That reads more like a finesse, high-scoring team than one that wants to muddle the game with hard fouls and brute force.

    So maybe the way to ignite the Heat's second-round senses is by pointing out just how unprepared they are for the Pacers.

    Not that they aren't capable of shifting gears, but playing the Melo-dominated Knicks did nearly nothing to groom the Heat for the Pacers.

    New York relied so much on Anthony for offense, and the Heat knew that limiting Carmelo was priority No. 1. That actually played into the Heat's hands, because Miami has the most versatile defender in the league in James, with an active and annoying defense around him to create added confusion.

    Where the Heat get into trouble more often is against teams that move the ball liberally, taking advantage of the help Miami offers and the occasional gambling mentality of Wade and James.

    The Knicks, with Anthony and J.R. Smith dominating the ball so regularly, had so little ball movement that the league's best 3-point shooter, Steve Novak, was a nonfactor.

    That didn't help Miami prep for a Pacers unit that has to move the ball to score.

    The Heat essentially are going from defending the Eastern Conference's best go-to scorer to defending a team that doesn't have a standout go-to presence.

    In any given game, it could be David West, Danny Granger, Paul George, or even George Hill orDarren Collison if they've got the hot hand.

    "Everybody's live, obviously," said Udonis Haslem, who spent most of the Knicks series defending a frustrated Stoudemire. "You can't relax defensively and think that just because your man doesn't have the ball that you're out of the play. You have to know that it'll probably be swing, swing, drive."

    The Pacers also have more committed defenders than the Knicks, more length on the wings and significantly bigger threats at the point guard spot, which isn't saying much given that injuries forced New York into playing a combo of Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas at that position in Game 5.

    But even playing the "totally different animal" card didn't seem to generate much enthusiasm from the Heat.
    At least not from James, who's probably thrilled just to be past the task of defending Anthony, who averaged 32 over the last four games of the first round.

    "It won't be hard at all," James said of the transition to defending a more team-oriented offense. "It's something that we know we're going to have to face at some point in the postseason."

    Finding ways to promote an Eastern Conference semifinals might sound like a fan-related issue and not a realistic concern for anyone actually participating. But boredom has been a regular problem for this Heat team since the Super Friends came together.

    Complacency clearly set in at certain segments this season. And the Heat have lost plenty of large leads by shifting into cruise control over the past two years -- none more devastating than the Game 2 home loss in last season's Finals that saw Dallas recover from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit.

    With that in mind, Spoelstra was happy to see the Knicks in the first round, because it meant there'd be no fear of such smugness setting in.

    "When we returned from that Washington trip (at the end of regular season) and had a 24-hour turnaround, we knew that, 'Hey, we better be on top of our game," Spoelstra said. "We better not only compete and play at an incredible effort and force level, but we better play well because (New York) is one of the hottest teams in the league."

    The Pacers don't offer that same allure.

    So unlike last season for Miami, when the Eastern Conference playoffs were an escalating series of challenges from Philadelphia to Boston to Chicago, these playoffs don't appear to be following that same arc.
    The second round will be a test of enthusiasm and desire as much as endurance and defense.
    "Miami-Indiana, from the outside, when it comes to hype, won't be the same," Wade said. "I think us as a team knows that this (Indiana) team here is a better team (than New York). They proved it all year, so it's going to be a tougher series for us.

    "But it won't be grabbing headlines like the Knicks-Miami series."

    As long as the Pacers grab the Heat's attention, it'll be all that truly matters for Miami.

  2. #2
    Rebirth. docpaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers / Heat article thread...

    "They are very well coached," James said of the Pacers. "They play inside out. They control the paint and have some great perimeter players.

    "We will savor this win tonight and get ready to go back to work tomorrow."

  3. #3
    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers / Heat article thread...

    by Jared Wade on May 10, 2012 at 11:02 am · 1 comment

    It’s official. Pacers. Heat. In Miami. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. We’ll have more pre-series coverage before then but here is a quick rundown of the two teams’ meetings in the regular season.

    1/4 - Miami Heat 118, Indiana Pacers 83 – Boxscore

    This was just a straight butt-kicking. Indiana actually started off fairly strong and held the Dwayne Wade-less Miami squad basically even for the first 12 minutes. Then the wheels fell off. The Heat pulled away Miami Vice cigarette boat style and thoroughly embarrassed the Pacers. In a juxtaposition that many expect to see continue throughout this second-round playoff series, LeBron James (33 points, 13 assists, 8 boards) completely out-classed his small forward counterpart Danny Granger (2-for-13, including 1-for-7 behind the arc, shooting for 9 points with 4 turnovers)

    2/14 – Miami Heat 105, Indiana Pacers 90 – Box Score

    Valentine’s Day massacre. Don’t be fooled by the mere 15-point final deficit. Miami destroyed Indiana even worse than they did in their first meeting. Worse still, it was the Heat’s third straight road game in three nights (and their fourth away from home in five nights). Still, with Dwyane Wade playing this time, they may as well have been playing at home on a game-long power play. The Pacers trailed by 32 heading into the fourth quarter. ”Pretty embarrassing,” said Roy Hibbert after game. “They just hit us at the start and we just weren’t able to recover … None of us came ready to play tonight.” The box score agrees: no Indy starter scored 15 points or shot 50% from the field.

    3/10 – Miami Heat 93, Indiana Pacers 91 (OT) – Box Score

    The Pacers should have won this game. They had it late before two huge blunders by Dahntay Jones allowed the Heat to push it to over time. And it took a virtual prayer by Dwayne Wade for Miami to even win in extended time. The Pacers’ late-game execution was bad and it took some unexpected outcomes from the Heat (turning the ball over 20 times and shooting 20-for-31 — 64.5% — at the line) to be in a position to win late, but they also played very well (hitting 6-for-9 from three-point land in the first half) and jumped out to an early lead. That will likely be a key to this series: playing well early. The Heat can often play as frontrunners. If they sense the opponent wobbling early, they’ll blow the doors off and win by 20 (as Indy knows first hand). But if the team can continually match them blow for blow early, it seems increasingly likely that they will hang around long enough to try to out-close the Heat in the fourth.

    3/26 – Indiana Pacers 105, Miami Heat 90 – Box Score

    The Pacers repaid the early-season favor: they smoked Miami by pulling away in the third quarter. Something we’ve seen them do all year to even great teams. Danny Granger led the way scoring-wise, but six guys finished in double figures and Darren Collison was stellar on both ends. Roy Hibbert, who had a sick dunk on and a sick swat of LeBron James, made his way to Sportscenter a few times and protected the paint on a night when Indiana caught Miami flat-footed. Paul George hit a shot from 65 feet. Just one of those nights, for both teams. Obviously, this is the model the team will try to follow as it attempts to pull off what would be one of the bigger upsets in recent NBA playoff memory. To do so, it will take the concerted effort of a full, deep team out-dueling a superstar-laden squad of assassins. As Jonny said, “Having three superstars is great and all, but when you can spread the scoring out to nearly the whole team like the Pacers did against Miami it is always more entertaining.” Pacers fans, and legions of NBA fans across the nation, will be hoping to see such entertainment for, hopefully the next four to seven games.

  4. #4
    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers / Heat article thread...

    I can already see that people are having a hard time putting all the articles in one place. Oh well, I guess we have to lead by example, right?
    NBA Playoffs 2012: Roy Hibbert Must Dominate for Pacers to Advance
    Danny Webster
    (Correspondent) on May 10, 2012

    For a team who hasn't been advertised nationally to masses of basketball fans, the Indiana Pacers might be the most unknown No. 3 seed in recent playoff memory.

    Now they're about to be thrown into the fire for the whole world to see.

    As a result of their Game 5 win on Wednesday, the Miami Heat will be the team who faces this up-and-coming Indiana squad in the second round, with a spot in the Eastern Conference finals up for grabs.

    Almost every analyst and expert will pick Miami due to talent and overall experience, but no one should slight this Indiana team in the least. Paul George and Danny Granger will surely be the keys for the Pacers in stopping LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and they have the capability to do just that.

    But if the Pacers want to have the best shot in advancing past Miami and pulling off the upset, they're going to have to utilize their biggest weapon on both sides of the floor—approximately 7'2" worth of a big problem.

    Pacers center Roy Hibbert was a first-time All-Star this year and his play surely reflected that. The four-year pro from Georgetown averaged almost 13 points and nine rebounds a game, to go along with two blocks, as he was selected as the backup center for the Eastern Conference All-Star squad.

    With the Orlando Magic lacking the services of superstar Dwight Howard, Hibbert imposed his will on the Magic frontcourt, averaging 11 points, 11 rebounds and almost four blocks in the five-game series win for the Pacers.

    Who will be the biggest key for the Indiana Pacers against the Miami Heat?
    Danny Granger
    Paul George
    Roy Hibbert
    George Hill
    Total votes: 39

    Hibbert should do serious damage against the Miami frontcourt with his size alone, combined with the lack of height for Miami. Chris Bosh will more than likely take the reins of guarding David West, so it'll be up to Joel Anthony to try and contain Hibbert.

    In four games against the Heat this year, Hibbert was consistent in rebounds and blocks, but his scoring dipped two points from his season average and he shot only 42 percent from the field. That should show that Miami can contain the big man at an effective rate, which only strengthens the argument that Hibbert needs to average at least 15 points and 12 rebounds to give Indiana a chance in this series.

    Granger and George will do their part in the scoring department and on perimeter defense, but Hibbert needs to play the paint effectively when Wade and James drive to the basket. As difficult and cliche of a task as that may sound, his abilities to alter shots at the rim and get the easy rebounds are going to go a long way for Indiana.

    No one should overlook this Pacers team and their own "Big Three" of Hibbert, George and Granger. And if Head Coach Frank Vogel can find a way for Indiana to utilize Hibbert heavily on both sides of the ball, then it'll only make things easier for George and Granger offensively.

    Will they be able to pull off the upset?

    It may be highly unlikely, but we're all about to witness a very entertaining series between two almost evenly-matched teams.

  5. #5
    You Did It Joseph!!!! AesopRockOn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers / Heat article thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by docpaul View Post
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    [We] have...a Psycho-T.
    Danny Granger may have to hop into the Iron Man suit and mention this line to Lokibron as George Hill directs Tyler, "Hans, smash!"

  6. #6
    2014 Champs HeliumFear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers / Heat article thread...

    Some of those Heat quotes are so smug. And what's with everyone calling this Pacers team soft? Its like the first half of the season when the offense was garbage so we were just bullying teams didn't exist.

  7. #7
    On the Vogel Wagon gummy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers / Heat article thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    I can already see that people are having a hard time putting all the articles in one place. Oh well, I guess we have to lead by example, right?
    Yeah, it's not gonna happen. I've created a few threads like this over the years that were meant to consolidate articles about the same topic. A lot of people don't look at all the threads on the front page before they post something new and I think people just like to have threads and discussions focused on one article (at least to begin with - we all know any thread could turn into one of our pet arguments at any moment).
    "Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better." - Albert Camus

    "Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." - Voltaire

    "Everyone's values are defined by what they will tolerate when it is done to others." - William Greider

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    yawn cgg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pacers / Heat article thread...

    How can you have "one of the bigger upsets in recent NBA playoff memory" with a match up between the 5th best record in the league and the 4th best record in the league lead?

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