Game Time Start: 3:30 PM EST
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Officials: S. Foster, T. Washington, S. Wright, E. Lewis
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Miami Notes
Local Radio: WIBC 93.1 FM
NBA Feeds:NBA Audio League Pass (available free to NBA All-Access members)
NBA League Pass Broadband (subscription req'd)
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Series & Season Records: 0
Upcoming Games: May 15 May 17 May 20 May 22 May 24 at vs vs at vs
Projected Starting Lineup: C PF SF SG PG HIBBERT WEST GRANGER GEORGE HILL Projected Starting Lineup: C PF SF SG PG BOSH HASLEM JAMES WADE CHALMERS
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Eight Points, Nine Seconds Preview: Tim Donahue: Offensive Rebounding will be Critical...
The Pacers are an odd rebounding team. They’re spotty on the defensive glass. A lot
of it is driven by how the defense plays. If the opposing offense can get the defense
to start rotating then the Pacers tend to lose contact with rebounders. This tends to
happen in flurries, like in Game Two against the Magic, when the Pacers allowed a
ton of second-chance points and watched an early lead disappear.
In some ways, those flaws are reflective of the team’s individual players’ weaknesses
in rebounding. Roy Hibbert is slow and doesn’t have great hands. It’s not uncommon
during these stretches to see him get his hand on rebounds that he doesn’t control.
David West also lacks footspeed, but really is just more of a “block-out” guy. His
default instinct is to control his man, as opposed to trying to chase down rebounds.
He can help settle things down and keep an opposing player from getting a ton of
boards, but he can’t himself control the glass. Danny Granger is just a sub-par
rebounder for his position, averaging just 5.2 rebounds per game in high minutes for
his career. Luol Deng, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Igoudala, by contract, have averaged
6.5, 6.3 and 5.8 per game, respectively. Paul George could be — and often is — a
pretty good wing rebounder, but he is also the team’s primary wing defender, so
rebounding isn’t his priority...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s
Jared Wade: Indiana Must Dominate the 3rd Quarter...
All season long, the third quarter has been a huge strength for the Pacers. It was
easily their best quarter throughout the regular season. They out-scored their
opponents by 9.1 points per 100 possessions in the third this season. If that
number doesn’t mean much to you, try this. If the Pacers were able to maintain
their third-quarter dominance throughout all 48 minutes in every game this
season, they would have have gone 66-0 while beating their opponents by an a
larger average margin of victory than did the Bulls, which led the league by
posting an average differential of 8.2 points per game.
Safe to say that would have made some headlines.
Obviously, no team can sustain such dominance for so long, but the Pacers have
actually been even better — way better — in the third so far in the playoffs. In
five games, they out-scored the Magic 127-84 in the third (scoring at a rate of
116.9 points per 100 possessions). That equals a total of 43 points, or 8.6 points
per game. Considering Indiana out-scored Orlando by 54 points for the entire
series, it’s safe to say that it was their third quarter play more than anything
else, that won the series...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s
Heat Index Preview: Brian Windhorst: Scouting report for Heat-Pacers Tilt
The Pacers and the Heat are spending an extraordinary amount of time studying each
other this week. Here’s a look at what their scouting reports will look like, provided by
league advance scouts’ notes on both teams:
Getting to the line. One of the biggest changes Frank Vogel has implemented with
the Pacers is turning them from a team that shoots a high volume of 3-pointers to a
team that focuses on dribble penetration. As a result, the get a significant portion of
their offense from getting to the foul line. They have several perimeter players who
specialize in it from Danny Granger, Darren Collison, Paul George and George Hill.
They are also a disciplined 3-point shooting team. They don’t take many of them but
theymake them, they shoot at a good percentage.
Zoom. The Pacers will go to “zoom” several times a half. This is where they quickly
turn from their preferred tempered approach to playing up-tempo. This is often
triggered by dribble hand-offs. They use the element of surprise.
Bigs. The Pacers have four quality big men and two energy bigs off the bench in
Tyler Hansborough and Lou Amundson. They also have good general length. As a
result they are a good rebounding team, top 10 in the league, and an elite team
when it comes to second-chance points. They are not a dynamic offensive team
but with second-chance points and free throws, they get by.
Wing versatility. The Pacers can play with excellent size on the perimeter. They
can switch on pick-and-rolls because players like Granger and George can defend
point guards. Most of the time they are solid in rotations.
Low assist team. The Pacers do have a handful of players who can create their
own shot but they do not execute plays very well. They were one of the lowest
assist teams in the league. They try to set up a lot their offense out of the post
but overall their ball movement is not strong. Their guards also are prone to
turnovers, though they have improved from last year when they ran former
coach Jim O’Brien’s “quick” system.
Average in transition. The Pacers won 90 percent of their games when they
outscored their opponents in transition, but they only did that about a third of
the time. They don’t look to run often and aren’t very proficient at it.
Hibbert in the pick-and-roll. He has excellent size but Roy Hibbert has poor
lateral quickness on defense. Teams should involve him in as much pick-and
-roll action as possible.
Foul prone. The Pacers are a gritty team that works hard on defense but they
often get over-aggressive. They committed the third most fouls in the league.
Getting big men in foul trouble can be accomplished and should be a priority.
WHAT THE PACERS NEED TO DO TO WIN
Keep James and Wade off the foul line. They are great scorers anyway, they
will make baskets against good defense. But they are at their best when they
are able to earn trips to the line.
Dominate the boards and get second-chance points. The Heat are one of
the better defensive teams in the league but have some of the worst size.
Getting extra possessions is the best way to balance out the talent differential.
Manage turnovers. The Heat can win without getting in transition but that is
usually how they blow you out. If you can limit letting them get free baskets
with live-ball turnovers, you will have a better chance of managing the score.
Transition. The Heat are one of the best teams in transition in the last two decades.
James and Wade look to run and work well together in transition. They are so quick
and can change directions...CONTINUE READING AT HEAT INDEX
Ball Don't Lie Preview: Kelly Dwyer: A look at the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers
It's OK. You have to remember that, while you ponder the obstacles that might have been
in place had Derrick Rose not hurt himself two weeks ago, or had Dwight Howard not
frittered away his team's season. If you're the type that delights in the misfortune of the
most talented, of the biggest and baddest bear of them all, go ahead. I don't think it's
healthy, and I don't think it's right, but who am I to judge?
If you delight in anything, then good for you. This is your time, pal. And nobody can that
from you. You ever scratch a dog's chin so perfectly that his hind legs shake? That's the
business, isn't it?
So don't feel awful, for wishing and hoping for obstacles to stick in front of these Miami
Heat. It's only natural, and you've likely been doing it for years — hoping against the
Lakers, or against the Bulls before that. And, in the form of a well-coached and
sometimes snippy outfit from Indiana, the Heat might just have a whale of a series on
their hands...CONTINUE READING AT BALL DON'T LIE
Additional Series Previews: National
Eye on Basketball (CBS)
Tim Reynolds (AP via Yahoo)
Britt Robinson (Sports Illustrated)
140 Characters of (Non-PD) Coverage