Blogtable: Can Indiana Beat Miami?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 19: Lakers: Any better? | Can Indiana beat Miami? | Underrated player on a title contender


Help those who would hate the Heat to win again: Can Indiana beat them?

Steve Aschburner: Sure, the Pacers are capable of knocking out Miami in the playoffs … if one of the Big Three gets hurt again, as (nearly) happened last spring when Chris Bosh went down. Indiana, if the bracket sets up right, should be able to take that next step to the conference finals, and it has almost everything it needs to be Finals-worthy — almost. A proven superstar to take over games and earn free throws in the closing minutes still is a playoff necessity. Miami can afford to lose just about any of its supporting cast to an injury and, frankly, it might even be able to overcome a Bosh absence this time. Only if Dwyane Wade or LeBron James were to miss 4-5 games of a best-of-seven, though, do I see anyone but the Heat representing the East in June.

Fran Blinebury: Not to oversimplify things too much, but I believe it comes down to Roy Hibbert. If he’s inspired, aggressive, throwing his bulk around in the low post, on the glass, defensively, the Pacers hit the Heat where they’re most vulnerable.

David West, Roy Hibbert (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

David West, Roy Hibbert (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jeff Caplan: I’m not a hater, first of all. Second, I don’t believe the Pacers have a chance to beat the Heat. Zero chance. None. Sorry.

Scott Howard-Cooper: I got nothing. Indy is capable of knocking Miami down and forcing the Heat to a standing eight count, but not the complete KO of a series victory. But if the Heat haters want something: The Pacers can make the Heat look bad on the boards. Indiana has to do that four to seven games in a row and then turn the advantage into something. I’m skeptical the Indy offense is capable of that.

John Schuhmann: First, they have, by a good margin, the best defense in the league. And it’s anchored by a 7-2 guy who deters shots at the rim, which is obviously important against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Second, Indiana has the size to take advantage of Miami’s lack thereof. The Pacers are the third best offensive rebounding team in the league and had 22 offensive boards in their first meeting. And third, Indy has improved quite a bit offensively over the course of the season. They’ve been the league’s seventh best offensive team since late January and actually have a better point differential than Miami over the course of the Heat’s 15-game winning streak. I would still favor the Heat in that series (and I think it’s very likely that they meet in the conference finals), because LeBron is the ultimate trump card. But Indiana is a pretty serious threat to the champs.

Sekou Smith: I can’t convince anyone of something I don’t believe to be possible. And as much as I love what the Pacers have going on right now, I don’t believe they are capable of knocking the Heat out in the playoffs. Next question please …

44 Comments

  1. Also, correction is everybody else has been hating on the Celts for the past 6yrs copying what Celts started to do first w/ putting 3 perennial all stars on one team-the real haters are the ones who copy the original & then claim they started a trend & that’s the selfish self seeking glory trademark so inherent in those that are the true haters & their glory seeking is always for the wrong reasons motivated by their jealousy-that means the heat won’t repeat. riley & stern bought last years ring underhanded-not happening this year!
    Sure glad my Celts got theirs the right way like they always do!

  2. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:

    CAN INDIANA BEAT MIAMI?
    NO… HELL NO, BUT KNICKS CAN BEAT THE HEAT….

  3. wanted: superstar says:

    In the playoffs, anything is possible. Some teams play at higher level.
    Tough Question and only the PACERS can answer come playoff time.

  4. Believe the smoke screens if u will-however my Celts can & will beat heat-i’m just being realistic-don’t hate on us cause we have no time to hate on them-Celts are just ready to play & beat whoever-we’ll see come playoffs!!! :)
    CELTICS-HORAAH-UBUNTU!!!

  5. Jack says:

    at this time of the season, NO INDY nor NY can beat the HEAT right now, they are making perfect all games. What can beat the HEAT is themselves…

  6. Kamote says:

    not a heat fan, but the answer is no (even if with a healthy granger).

  7. sanjay says:

    charles barkley has said it right! While spurs and to some extent clippers can trouble miami, both these 2 teams have no chance against, young, super fast and jump ball shooting spree of OKC! And charles is also right that OKC has no chance of beating miami as they do not play down low!
    The only real challenge to heat is indiana/nyk. But it is likely that indiana and nyk are gonna slug it out in semi-finals before meeting miami!
    But miami can lock down the defense as they have shown against NYK. Miami is still working towards play off gear, streak not withstanding!
    They will have tough competition from indiana for sure. It is also possible that indiana can be blow away if they had an off day against miami!

    It is a great chance for miami to repeat the peat given other teams have one or the other issues( rose injured, another super star in indiana injured, west veteran teams getting older against a rising team)

    For time being enjoy the streak and tough game coming against indiana on sunday!

  8. Derby says:

    How can the pacers beat the heat in the playoffs?! They didnt do it with a healthy lineup last time, and with bosh in injury. Paul George? Yes, paul had a stellar season this time around, isnt dwade and lbj as well?? I remember last season, hibbert is playing his best basketball. Where is he now? The dude comes and shows. They didnt beat the heat last time, they wont do it again this time.

  9. charles howell says:

    heat are repeating as champions. let me tell you why because when the playoffs come miami heat turns it up another notch and plus lebron is playing better than he did last year. and d wade is back. chris bosh is consistent. we added the best three point shooter in history in ray allen we have all the pieces to repeat and the pacers knicks or any team in the east wont beat us they dont have people to get in done in clutch moments. and to acknowledge the spurs winning the title is crazy. they cant hang with miami. everyone seems to forget what happend to the spurs the last 2 playoffs they came in with the best record both years and lost in the playoffs their time been over. #TeamHeat all day

  10. Vino Kulafu y Shuktong pamparegla ni kobe 24 says:

    maybe the NYK can MAYBE… but in reality they can’t…. so does the pacers…. pacers can go toe to toe with the HEAT only in coaching that’s all… But team wise they differ too much… If you are given a chance to pick on 3 out of 6 who you picking LBJ DWADE BOSH Ganger,George,hibbert??? I rather stay on HEAT’s BIG 3….

  11. Bob M says:

    Indy has lesser talent. Hibbert would have to play out of his mind for them to have a chance. Miami always drives to the hole and takes it to every big man; Hibbert will have foul trouble. If Hibbert is playing out of his mind, Miami will send bench players in to rough him up and take him out of his comfort zone.
    I like Paul George, David West and Granger’s scoring ability. They can score on tough defense. It would be a series that I’d love to watch because it would be a physical grind-it-out style, but they can’t take out the Heat in 7 games.
    The Knicks have a better shot than the Pacers. The Knicks have a good defensive anchor and Melo is a clutch player. If they could get better defense and boards out of Amare’, they would be hard to beat. (and JR Smith is on a hot streak)

  12. nbafan says:

    i think that if the pacers play well and shut lebron down(which is very hard to do) they can ABSOLUTLEY beat miami, but it wont be a sweep. and if that doesnt work and miami faces the knicks in the next round, all the knicks need to do is hit thier 3s and play good defense THROUGH ALL THE ENTIRE GAMES and if this happens , the knicks will CRUSH miami in the playoffs. but if the knicks arent clicking, they cant do anything against miami in the playoffs

    • Han says:

      Dude, do u even know how the playoff works? Indi will meet Knicks before 1 of them meeting Miami. How in this world Miami need to beat Knicks after Indi?

  13. Sonics 4 Life says:

    I’ve always loved the irony of the phrase “can’t be beat in a 7 game series.”

    Well, apparently the teams are pretty evenly matched if it’s going to a game 7, so really, it’s anyone’s series to clutch.

  14. W/E says:

    Nope, they cant do it.

  15. Isaaac says:

    get the brooms out monday.

  16. sports fan says:

    Indiana will lose to the Heat in 6 games.

  17. Nash fan says:

    YES!

  18. thesacredspectator says:

    first and foremost lets get somethings straight here, regular season W-L against opponents dont mean squat when it comes to post season….so at this point in time 3/6/13 pacers crushed miami twice and as a matter of fact this 15 game win streak that the heat are on, their last loss was against indy…indy does have a chance…to win a game here and there..maybe even push the champs to a game 7 but are you honestly sayin that when lebrons legacy and all the hate and pressure is against him he wont come out and destroy? we have seen it so many times in his career and boston got it last year straight in their face, you had a man step on the court and annihilate one team by himself single handedly..lebron coulda drop 40 in the first half if he wanted to…few players have a switch button and go HAM, MJ,Kobe and most certainly lebron…indy better pray if that day comes when its a game 7 in miami and lebrons entire livelihood is on the line…he will easily drop 50+ to win that game…NYK i dont think are a threat anymore neither, earlier part of the season maybe…but after that loss..when the were up 14 before the 2nd half….i dont think so…again indiana will def win a game or even two..id be shocked if it goes to a 7th game and even if it did their is no way that team can deny lebrons desire to be recrowned as king…and the west…LOL forget about it…only way miami not win the title this year is if lebrons leg breaks or if dwade has a broken rib…otherwise its a repeat

    • Chris says:

      you mention the Boston series yet you clearly forget the refs screwing Boston in clutch moments. Blatant slap in the face to Rondo and no foul call? NBA finals, Lebron comes charging to the hoop, KD didn’t even touch him, replay to prove it yet a foul was still called. I’m not saying Lebron can’t win without refs cause OKC choked in the end but everything about Lebrons title was fishy and I am neither a heat or OKC fan.

  19. No everybody knows tht the heat r the NBA Champions & the Thunder can’t take a win over the Heat in the regular season & I can tell tht the Heat r going to win over the Pacers

    • Chris says:

      You realize you pretty much just contradicted yourself right? You used OKCs season series as an example for why they can’t beat the heat in the finals yet you claim the Pacers can’t beat them when so far Miami has proven they can’t beat the Pacers. You realize how stupid that sounded right?

    • LBJ237 says:

      chris you are an idiot. I remember about a month ago, ” The heat can’t beat the bulls, knicks, or pacers” We creamed the bulls (on the road) we rallied against the knicks (also on the road) I don’t think the pacers story will be any different. You still haven’t faced us in miami either. Also how long is your win streak, last time I checked 16 is a bigger number than zero.

  20. randy pye says:

    ok im a die hard heat fan but its clear to me too many people are blind. first let me just throw this out to teams from the west none of you will beat the heat in 7 the west is slowly losing their strength. the 2 top teams that can knock miami off are new york or indiani. though they spanked us twice and had a close loss im kinda starting too think youll have to rely on indiana cause new york is not getting it done. but indiani my only weakness i see in them is granger and hibbert and i say hibbert only because hey can block shots yes but lbj and dwade can use there athletism to not go straight up and go around him. and if anybody knows why havent the heat played james jones this year

    • Chris says:

      Miami could barely compete with San Antonio’s bench. That game should have been a BLOWOUT. No Duncan, no Parker, No Ginoboli, yet the Heat barely won that game. you’re insane if you think San Antonio has no chance against the Heat. I’ll buy into OKC having no chance, they choke Everytime! Clippers stand a better chance than they do,

  21. Pacers are the only ones in the East(and Bulls if they had a healthy rose) that have a chance to beat Miami but not in a 7 game series, ill be shocked if they don’t end up in the finals again.

  22. JMaine says:

    Indiana has the best chance of beating the heat in the east. That’s the only team I think can push them in a 7 game series. The only thing is the heat make some of the best in game adjustments, and if you have to play them in 7 games your not coming out on top. I’m not saying they can’t be beat but I am saying I won’t believe it till I see it in a 7 game series. The playoffs is a different beast. Indiana still not ready for that.

  23. DinK says:

    pacers over heat in 5 , book it , Miami can’t win again this yr playing midget ball in the playoffs , it’ll catch up to you sooner or later

    • Pakyaw says:

      Right,The midget ball that won a title..only healthy Boston (no rondo) I think can give the heat a battle.. Coach rivers > coach spo..

  24. Jerry Baylor says:

    i don’t think any team can beat Miami in a 7 game series….they know what it takes to win a title, have a great defense and have the best player in the NBA

    • Loki says:

      So do the Spurs.. Spurs with a healthy Big three of their own will slaughter Miami. Miami has proven they can barely contain the Spurs’ BENCH. SA makes the finals this year, they’re taking the title if it’s Miami

      • Bryan says:

        I totally agree with you….. people always forget the spurs. we just need parker back.

      • Loki says:

        Spurs aren’t a glamorous Team is why they get forgotten. Even I sometimes forget how good they are. They just lost it last year but they’ve got what it takes to shut OKC down and I pretty much hope they do if Miami is going to the finals. The series was pathetic and I want to actually see a Matchup in the finals. OKC can -NOT- take Miami in the playoffs.

  25. Vino Kulafu y Shuktong pamparegla ni kobe 24 says:

    Nope they won’t BEAT MIAMI on a 7 game series… Maybe the Bulls with 110% rose Nope they won’t….

  26. geeezzzzz12 says:

    Hope so lebron and wade need to get knocked off there high horse so we can talk about something else i want a new team to reclaim the east any of the them

  27. mentel says:

    Biggest problem for Pacers seems to be Hibbert doesnt play a full game. He’s just over 28 min/game this year, even if that is bumped up over 36 min/game, thats a full quarter when Indy gives up a big part of its biggest advantage.

    you need to play 48 min of D against Miami, ton of points by their bench wings (Battier, Jesus Shuttlesworth) b/c Lebron can just play forever & get them great shots

  28. Tyler says:

    yes they can! if certain things come into play. Mainly the physicl old school approach. as great as lebron is i think its easy to frustrate him and get him out of rythum and that can be done by aggressive defensive, checkin him at the rim, fouling him…d wade and chris bosh are both soft nancy boys and can eaisly be out hustled. as long as indy brings the old school bullying mentality we have a strong enough defenseive and deep bench to contain them. Go pacers

  29. jose says:

    Hibert will be contested by the birdman. Hibert is very inconsistent and prone to get in foul trouble . Miami is going to explote this fact . Then , West is a star , not a superstar ; Granger is not the same and the only threat , George , has to deal with Batier’s defense.
    And finally, we have HAMELIN,controlling the flux of the game ,LBJ.
    Miami champs again.

    • Chris says:

      none of the factors mentioned (except Birdman who wasn’t there) have been a problem so far this season. Let’s see how the last games of the season series go before you go claiming these guys will be a problem for Indiana. None of those victories this season were all that close. If anything Miami has proven they can’t handle the Pacers D even if their offense is better

  30. Game Time says:

    “A proven superstar to take over games and earn free throws”. That’s a nice way of saying the refs are paid to only make calls for big names.

    • Chris says:

      Seriously. I still think if any team in the east can beat them in the playoffs it’s Indiana. But before anyone makes that call lets see how the last games of the season series work out. So far they’re the only team to hold Miami under 80, the next victory they held them under 90. If they can play defense like that in the playoffs so long as refs aren’t calling fouls for BREATHING on Lebron while calling nothing when Wade smacks a guy in the face Miami can beat them. I don’t care what Miami has done to other teams, so far they’ve shown by playing Indiana strong defense is their weakness

  31. yobme says:

    Yes, a game or two. But a seven game series, no can do.