Last night, the amazing Heatles put on a brilliant show that ended with them losing to the Indiana Pacers 78-75, evening the series at 1-1. The NBA’s so-called titile “favorite” flopped in crunch time as the Pacers were able to sneak out of AmericanAirlines Arena with a win. Throughout the game, the Heat built small leads only to see them get diminished by the Pacers. While at times, it did look as though the Heat were going to blow it out and crush the Pacers, it never actually happened. Credit, Frank Vogel.
“Defense and rebounding.”
Frank Vogel’s post game quote just about summed up the win in two words. While I will talk about the absence of Chris Bosh and the late game struggles later, I do have to give credit to Frank Vogel and the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers played a great game last night. While they only scored 78 points, they held one of the leagues top scoring teams to only 75 points. That says something of their head coach. Frank Vogel made some great adjustments, and his team pretty much took everyone out of the game besides Wade and James. Also, they showed why they were the three seed in the East. They have quality starters, a great bench, and most importantly, they play as a team. No one on the team is selfish, no one cares who scores or doesn’t score, all that matters is that at the end of the day, they have more points than the opponent. Frank Vogel pointed out how they play in the trenches and make the hustle plays that are necessary to win games, and it showed last night. The Pacers were the first ones to every loose ball, they defended brilliantly inside, and they showed that teamwork really does win games. All in all, if the Pacers want to win this series, this is the perfect example of how they are going to do it. Defense. And Rebounding.
But I have to come back to the Heat. There were two things that I saw after this game was over that stood out to me. First, Chris Bosh is a HUGE asset to this team. Most people said it was the big 2.5, or that Bosh had lost it after coming to this team, but after last night it is clear that they need him bad. Here are the Heat’s top scorers after James and Wade: Battier – 5 pts, Chalmers – 5 pts, Haslem – 4 pts. Pathetic. That is all there is to say. The rest of the guys on this team were simply pathetic. I am sorry, but no team can expect to win an NBA game, especially a playoff game, with their third leading scorer scoring five points. To me, this is a big testament to how big of a piece Chris Bosh really is. Besides him, they basically have no inside game. Haslem is not who he used to be. Turiaf is, well, Turiaf. And Joel Anthony has become irrelevant to this team.
Second, I saw what I have seen all season but figured it would not last into the playoffs, the terrible crunch time performance of the Miami Heat. The Heat have no idea what to do in the clutch. It used to be give the ball to Wade, back away, and let him go to work. Now it has become, give it to Wade, and watch him either make some really bad plays, or pass the ball to someone else who can’t close. James has become irrelevant come crunch time because of his struggles at the free throw line, and after him, there really is no one else.
They will figure it out though.
In my opinion, this team is too good to just let the Pacers win this series. I feel as though Wade will finally decided to take over in the last two minutes and show the world the old Wade. The role players will hit some shots, and LeBron will do what LeBron has done for 46 minutes, dominate the game. The key is the roll players though. They have to show up. If the rest of the guys play this horrendous, there is no way the Heat win this years title. Mike Miller needs to hit threes, as do Chalmers and Jones, and the post players have to find a way to be effective. While the series is at 1-1 now, I still see the Heat winning this in 6 games, max. I have them in 5, but I am really concerned about that prediction now. Overall, I feel as though they not only will figure it out, but have to figure it out. If the Heat don’t win this years title, I could see some major changes being made to this team. Not only with the big three, but also with the coaching staff and role players. So Miami, get yourself together. Or teams like the Pacers will continue to say, “We never felt like we were the underdogs.”