Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat – Series Recap and Game 3 Preview
In what must be feeling like an eternity to NBA fans everywhere almost 72 hours will have elapsed since the last playoff contest occurred prior to the tip-off in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals featuring the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.
The aforementioned tip will take place in American Airlines Arena in Miami on Saturday at 8:30pm ET.
The series began in Indy where it appeared that perhaps the number 1 seeded Pacers would employ home court advantage to its fullest against the no. 2 seeded visitors from South Beach.
Paul George led the way with 24 points and 7 assists in the Pacers 107-96 Game 1 victory.
George also defended well against LeBron James “holding” him to 25 points. King James was 1 for 5 from beyond the arc and made it to the charity stripe just twice.
Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 27 points and David West contributed 19 for Indiana.
The Pacers led wire to wire and Miami has now lost its last 6 season series openers on the road.
Game 2 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse found the Pacers holding their own and leading 63-62 after 3 quarters.
That is when the dynamic duo of Wade and James did what they do. They combined to score Miami’s final 20 points in an 87-83 Game 2 win.
So much for home court advantage in the Speedway City.
D. Wade once again led the way with 23 points while James had a total of 22.
The Heat has now gone 11-0 in games following a playoff loss.
Even with Miami returning home for Game 3 as a 7 point favorite at -$110 (over/under 182.5 points), Indiana has shown they can compete with the Big 3.
The Pacers can win this game and this series if they continue to control the glass. They lead the Heat 79-67 in rebounds overall while grabbing 23 offensive boards to Miami’s 10.
Roy Hibbert cannot afford to take a quarter, let alone a game off. If he does this series will end quickly.
Paul George and David West will have to continue to be the catalyst offensively and George will have to at least “contain” LeBron James for the Pacers to have a legitimate chance.
Lance Stephenson could provide a spark on offense as well.
With all that is made of Miami’s scoring prowess, they also have one of the league’s best defenses. They are trending in the right direction allowing just 83 points in Game 2 after the Indiana 107 outburst in the series inaugural contest.
Besides that, it’s more of the same for the Heat. Pass the ball to James or Wade and get out of the way.
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