He writes his columns for the masses, and it seems as though he is trying to mitigate any overreaction that the casual observer might feel if we don't win tonight.
I agree, he could have popped out something waaaaaaaay more substantial and deep than this.
Yes it is assurance that a win means your competition gets a lose. In that guess I agree that this game is different. And it is the Heat. If teams are showing up to play their best against us because we are elite, then we should against them.
I just don't see this game as a statement game to the NBA to take us seriously. I think they already do. And if we lose I don't think they will take us any more lightly.
I would say this is a must win game. Like you said, We are playing our direct competition for the #1 seed. These head to head match ups are the best way to ensure we finish ahead of them.
Its foolish in my opinion for folks to say that games against your elite competition don't matter cause its not the playoffs. That is the thinking spawned from not having a good team for so long. "Oh well we beat them now, but it dont' matter cause they will be so much better in the playoffs, and thats when it really counts" Thats what you would have said 2 years ago when the current Pacers hadn't won a Playoff series yet, a win over Miami was impressive, but really didn't matter. Because Miami has that other gear they are saving for the playoffs. You know, like there is a still a pecking order.
This year is different, we have proven that we can play up to their level. The rivalry is real. These games are about resetting the Pecking order.
You can't get champagne from a garden hose.
Don't get caught up in the term statement game, I agree it's not a statement game. Everyone knows who we are now, but I do think it is an important game.
Also, I don't know where else to put this, but Heat fans are especially whiney on twttier today. They are searching the hashtag built not bought and just whining whenever someone uses it. I am having fun just putting it in random tweets now.
Must-wins for me is elimination game, an impossible road ahead if we lose, or a clinching game (game 7, number one seed). This game does not fall into any of that. So I would not consider this a must win.
I suspect each team wins 2 games in the 4 game regular season matchup. Probably each will win one game on the other teams court.
I find it interesting that after tonight we play them a week later. Then after the next matchup March 26th, we play them 2 weeks later. I think it is just a coincidence, but I think it will tend to insure a 2-2 season split. Whoever lkoses tonight will win next week, same for next pair of games.
I guess I don't understand what a statement game is. Game 7 ECF finals was that a statement game? Or are only regular season games statement games? Was OKC beating us Sunday night a statement game? Us beating the Spurs? I honestly have no idea.
Maybe the only statement that can be made is your record. 18-3 is impressive.
Did the Celtics make a statement by beaing the Heat in Miami? Did the Pistons make a statement by beating the Heat in Miami. But then the Heat just beat the Pistons in Auburn Hills. Everyone knows the east is between the heat and the pacers. The Heat respect us, they know us well.
Last edited by Unclebuck; 12-10-2013 at 10:59 AM.
Reggie Miller says it is a statement game. I'll take his opinion over Kravitz
If turner beats out hill and mahinmi in camp then fine, but odds of that happening are slim.
Our bench can make a statement. I would love for OJ to make a statement in shooting. Danny could make a statement to dress up. But if we go to 18-4 and lose the next three. Then I would say that a statement could be made. But was that this lose or OKC? Would that win against the Spurs be a statement of how poor they were?
Any given game on any given night. This game is not anymore important than the next three against the Heat. It is all about trends in the first half of the season. THe Nets and Knicks are trending bad. The Pacers, Thunder, Heat, and Blazers are trending great. Celtics go back and forth, and so do the Griz. To say that this one of four and one of 82 games will make or break (must win games) is over selling it.
Bid of warning. Don't fall into the power rankings trap, they really don't mean a thing.
here is a pretty good article from the Miami Herald
Shane Battier’s brawn to be tested as Miami Heat prepares for Pacers
By Joseph Goodman The Miami Herald
The Heat’s use of a stretch power forward puts Shane Battier at a disadvantage on defense against the Pacers’ David West.
By Joseph Goodman
INDIANAPOLIS -- Shane Battier rubbed the back of his neck not out of pain, but as an involuntary reaction to the idea of pain. It had already been a long and difficult road trip by the time Battier was soaking his post-game feet in a tub of ice in Detroit, but the worst, he was sure, was still to come.
The worst is David West. For Battier, the worst always is David West.
West is the rugged, intelligent and talented player for the Indiana Pacers who Battier will lean against, battle and use every ounce of his cagey 35 years to limit offensively on Tuesday in Indianapolis. The game between the Heat and Pacers is an early season matchup between the top teams in the Eastern Conference and a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals, a series that went the full seven games. Battier represents a key chess piece in what has become an ongoing struggle between the Heat’s quickness and speed and the Pacers’ size and muscle.
When Heat coach Erik Spoelstra goes on tangents about “identity” and, more specifically, the imposition of that abstract idea on opponents, Battier’s three-pointers are, to a degree, the decoded message of that coach speak.
“Obviously, this game will have a spotlight on it from the outside, but we just want to play well and play to our identity and build on what we’ve done in these last two games on the road,” Spoelstra said after back-to-back victories against the Timberwolves and Pistons. “That’s what I’m looking forward to seeing, the resolve, the toughness, the defense…Can you still consistently get to your identity against a team that has a vastly different identity, and can you impose that identity more consistently?
“That’s the bigger issue and focus on our part. We understand that there will be a big storyline for this game, but that’s not our focus, the storyline.”
Of course, the focus and identity of the Eastern Conference standings might be slightly important despite Spoelstra’s best efforts to trivialize such nonsense. The Pacers (18-3) currently are two games ahead of the Heat (16-5), and Indiana clearly has made it a priority to earn home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Tuesday could represent an important tie-breaker if it comes down to that and, considering the Heat blew out the Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena in Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals after an otherwise even series, there seems to be a little more at stake on Tuesday than Spoelstra’s existential concepts of “journey,” “identity,” and “process.”
In reality, the Pacers are playing well right now and the Heat has been dealing with injuries and lineup shifts throughout the beginning of the season. Advantage: Pacers.
“Obviously everyone is going to make it as a marquee game, but I don’t really get too involved in regular-season matchups, especially in December,” LeBron James said. “They’re a very good team — probably a great team — right now, the way they’re playing basketball, and we’re trying to get healthy.
“We’re trying to get to our full potential, so we’ll see what we can do. We look forward to the opportunity of going in there and playing on Tuesday but it’s not like it’s a statement game for us.”
Still, that doesn’t mean things will be any easier for Battier. For him, Tuesday’s game is another installment in a rivalry that was never supposed to feature him as the primary counterpart to West’s bulk, but Spoelstra has once again benched Udonis Haslem in favor of Battier’s skills as a three-point shooter. For the purposes of tactical advantages and mismatches in a playoff series, that’s just fine, but stretched out over the course of a regular season, the nightly pounding Battier absorbs playing out of position at power forward takes a toll.
And this road trip has been particularly brutal.
It started with Carlos Boozer and the Bulls before shifting to the Minnesota where Battier caught a break with Kevin Love out of the Timberwolves’ lineup, but still found himself at times pushing against the immovable low-post force that is Nikola Pekovic. On Sunday, Battier matched up against Greg Monroe. And, now, Battier gets West.
“I caught a lucky break against Minnesota with Kevin Love not playing but this is the equivalent of murder’s row for me as a 6-8, 215-pound power forward” Battier said. “And it gets more difficult as it goes on. But you just fight like hell and do the best you can and live with it.”
By and large, that was the Heat’s overall outlook on the eve of what’s supposedly its most important game of the early season.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/1...#storylink=cpy
If we lose this game tonight, I would really really want to win next week. I think that the two games will be a split. If we lose both, I will be worried a little. If we win both I will be excited, a little.
A win is important, but I think fans should not make too much of a big deal with the result of this game.
A win today will give us some cushion with the Heat, but they will certainly move on easily after this. Only the media will just make some big headlines out of the win, and will probably blow it out of proportion especially if the win is so dominating. Of course a loss will mean more bashing for the legitimacy of the Pacers as title contenders, but I think it for both teams it's not much of a big deal. Let's remember that Chicago in Rose's MVP year dominated the Heat in the regular season, only for them to be demolished in 5 games. The Pacers last year had a pretty good record against the Heat in the regular season, but they still prevailed in 7 games. So while the atmosphere will certainly be intense, both teams will not take too much meaning out of this regardless of results.
I think this is more of a coming out game for our young stars, Paul George and Lance Stephenson, more than anything. This game will be getting so many viewers and a very good showing for them will legitimize their stardom and this might earn them a few more fans outside the Pacers fan base.
From the EOB guys over CBS on tonight's game http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-...im-the-kingdom
I can see the argument for this game being important within the race for home court, but I don't really buy this game giving us added confidence, or it being a statement game of sorts. We know we're good, and so does Miami along with the rest of the league. A win tonight doesn't cement that fact any more than a loss would tarnish it. We won the season series against Miami last year, including a blowout win at home, and it meant absolutely nothing once the playoffs came around.
Obviously this is a big, marquee game, no different that the Ind-Chi (at the time), Ind-Por, Ind-SA, Ind-OKC games. Everyone likes seeing the best teams play against one another in order to see who comes out on top. And the games within each conference tend to matter more due to potential/likely playoff matchups, but rarely do these games garner any meaning when the playoffs come around.
I am in the small group that doesn't believe we need homecourt advantage in order to beat Miami. It definitely would be awesome if we had a game 7 here as opposed to Miami, but I don't believe it's the ONLY way we can beat them.
So what happens if the Pacers lose? Season over? No #1 seed? Doomed against the Heat in the EC Finals?
This statement also serves as a summary of Kravitz's article:
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For six weeks the NBA has waited for this, the start of the season series of the only Eastern Conference matchup of consequence, the first meeting between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers since last season's epic seven-game conference finals.
And now that it's here, Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the passion has never been more . . . muted?
"It's not a statement game," Heat forward LeBron James said as he looked ahead to the final stop of this four-game trip. "I'm not going to fall into that."
But it's Heat-Pacers, LeBron vs. Paul George, the size of Roy Hibbert and David West against the guile of Chris Bosh and Shane Battier, Indiana's bolstered bench against the Heat's considerable depth.
This is . . . just one of 82?
"I mean obviously everyone's going to make it into a marquee game," James said. "I don't really get too much involved in regular-season matchups, especially early, in December.
"They're a very good team. They're a great team right now, the way they're playing basketball."
Fortunately, there is the coaching matchup between the Heat's Erik Spoelstra and Pacers' Frank Vogel, whose verbal sparring the past two postseasons has added spice to this meeting of the conference's top teams.
So that . . . isn't sparking much, either.
"Obviously this game will have a spotlight on it from outside," Spoelstra said, so passionate about the meaning of this one . . . that he gave his team Monday off. "We just want to play well. We want to play to our identity and build on what we've done these last two games on the road. That's what I'm looking forward to seeing, is the resolve, the toughness, the defense."
The Pacers have made this season a crusade for the No. 1 playoff seed in the East, the seed the Heat utilized to host and win last season's Game 7. Considering the tiebreaker implications, that, alone, should raise the stakes. Right?
"I think a lot of that is rhetoric," Spoelstra said. "We want to play well. We want to build on what we're doing. We want to continue to take steps forward and build a game that can win at home or on the road.
"And Indiana has done a tremendous job so far this season. We respect them. We've had two great battles with them in the playoffs. The respect runs deep.
We know we have to play well."
Fortunately, not all in the Heat locker room are numb to the moment after a week in the frigid Midwest.
"We understand they're going to be worked up and probably marked that on their calendar as soon as the schedules came out," Bosh said. "Can't worry about that. We just come out and play ball, we do our thing."
At least Bosh recognizes this is not the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thanksgiving eve or finding motivation for the early home-and-home matchups against the Charlotte Bobcats.
"I mean you always look forward to it," he said. "You look forward to the competition. I'm more excited about playing those guys on the road, getting it started there, because we're in the process of trying to get better with our rebounding and our defense and they're a good team, to really see where they are."
If nothing else, at least Battier appreciates what outsiders want to hear, deadpanning, "I'm surprised the NBA is not wheeling in the Larry O'Brien trophy."
And, yes, he said the players very much appreciate the moment.
"We've been through these types of games before," he said. "And they're playing great. They're playing, I would say, the best in the league right now, if you go by point differential.
"We did not play well against them at their place last year, so we know this game is on our calendar. . . . This is a not a surprise game, 'Oh my God we're playing Indiana on Tuesday,' but it will be a good regular-season game."
And a passionate one from at least one side of the equation, considering how the sting of last season's Eastern Conference finals still resonates for the Pacers.
"I think it's very similar to this team two years ago playing against Dallas," Battier said of losing the 2011 NBA Finals to the Mavericks and then pounding Dallas in the first regular-season meeting the following season. "The pain of a playoff loss is tough and there's nothing like it. It's a truly motivating force. And it's nothing we can do to replicate that edge that they'll have come Tuesday."
email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/iraheatbeat
Last edited by Unclebuck; 12-10-2013 at 01:10 PM.
I love this man.
Indiana Pacers @Pacers 1m
Coach Vogel tells the media, "I leave rivalry talk up to you guys. We want to beat everybody."
Passion. Pride. Patience. Pacers
Video autoplays when I open this thread, All of a sudden there is the Heat/Pacers preview blasting through my speakers at work...
Sorry, this is a bunch of crap.
With the fight for the #1 seed likely coming down to a VERY slim margin of W's and L's between us and the Heat, this game HAS to be one that we take as a statement game.
Would it be possible for us to get the #1 seed, and win a playoff series against the Heat if we lose today and get the #2 seed instead of the #1? Yes.
But we've clearly stated that we see it as our destiny and goal to achieve the #1 seed. Today's opponent is a serious threat to that goal. Heck YES this is a "more important" game!
I suppose we could all just give that "meh, it's just 1 of 82" excuse and not care about the end results today, but why do we even bother watching the regular season at all then? Why have we been so excited by our great start and all our gutsy victories?
Is this game make or break for the championship? Of course not.
It sure is a significant step towards reaching the next step of the stairs on our way TO it, though.
Indiana is going to look to make the statement that what people have been saying about them is true, they are for real this year about beating Miami and winning the title. Miami will be looking to make the statement of, "slow your role Indiana, we're still the top dogs". No, the season won't come to an end tonight regardless of the outcome, but it will certainly make for some interesting talk the rest of the way.
I would even go so far as to say that a win tonight by Indiana, could send them on a big winning streak a la last year's Miami team after they beat us. Winning tonight could give the Pacers a big big confidence booster. Hopefully a loss won't demoralize them and make them question what their team is all about. I trust Frank to have these guys mentally prepared for either outcome.
I guess there are 2 different viewpoints when it comes to this article and overall discussion.
1 ) Is this a Statement Game?
2 ) Is this game important?
I think both are 2 different perspectives of this game that answers different questions.
Looking at this from a Statement Game perspective....it doesn't matter as much since a lot of different scenarios can play out over the course of the season. If we lose, we lose...but it won't change the fact that we are considered an Elite Team on the same level as OKC, SA and Miami.
But looking at whether the game is actually important or not....it does matter for the various reasons that Trader Joe and graphic-er suggest due to the whole Tie-Breaker concern.
In the end...one can consider this game an important game that won't change any Statement that the Pacers have already made.
[I]Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.
Months from now these two teams will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. What happens here Tuesday night, and what happens when they play again in the regular season, won't eliminate anyone but together those games will go a long long way to determining where a 7th game, if necessary, will be played....months from now, these two teams will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals, and what happens here Tuesday night, and what happens when they play again in the regular season, won't mean squat.
That is not "squat".
Sure it's not the end of the world if we lose or cause for champagne if we win.
There will be no statement or psychological conquest tonight.
But it matters.
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!)
Can I just say that I hate it when embedded videos auto-start playing like that? I load up multiple tabs at once when I catch up on my PD reading, and all of a sudden that dude is reporting on Heat/Pacers and I have no idea where it's coming from.
Can that be edited out or otherwise somehow addressed, please?
From a team standpoint, I don't think this game means that much. Of course a win against the Heat is exciting, but it won't matter come May. However, I think this game means a lot to the city. Casual Indy folks are starting to ride the Pacers bandwagon again, but with a win tonight, I really think everyone jumps on board.