Pacers, Heat Both Learn From ’12 Series

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Learn from the past or risk repeating it.

That’s sound advice always — the sort of wisdom that saves people from going on second blind dates and reveals how an NBA playoff contender can fix what ailed it in a previous series.

That’s the hope, anyway, of the Indiana Pacers, facing the Miami Heat in the East bracket for the second time in as many postseasons. They’ve been hard at work since eliminating the Knicks Saturday night, breaking down video and plumbing the results of their loss in six games in the conference semifinals last May.

The teams met three times in the 2012-13 regular season and those games are relevant, too (Indiana won the first two meetings, Miami the last). But the style of playoff ball is different and so is the schedule, facing the same foe over and over. By the end of Miami’s Game 6 victory on May 24, a genuine dislike and legit rivalry had been cemented.

It was the starting point for the three meetings this season, and it will serve as backdrop for the four-to-seven the teams play over the next two weeks.

“It’s going to be a beast,” Miami forward Chris Bosh said the other night.

Here are some takeaways from the 2012 showdown:

* No Bosh: The Heat’s talented, occasionally maligned power forward suffered a strained abdominal muscle in the first half of Game 1 and was done for the series. Miami actually trailed when Bosh exited, then won that game, but it did seem to help a Pacers squad that already was seen as having an advantage up front.

Sure enough, in Games 2 and 3, the Pacers’ two victories, they outrebounded Miami by 26. In the four they lost, they were beaten on the boards by a combined 19. Indiana forward David West didn’t have to contend with Bosh’s extended shooting range, and scored more points and shot more free throws than anyone in the series not named LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. Center Roy Hibbert averaged 12.3 points and 11.5 rebounds, personal playoff bests.

The Heat’s most effective lineup a year ago included Joel Anthony. Now he hardly plays because Chris (Birdman) Andersen gives Miami energy, toughness and solid passing (and OK finishing) skills. And because Bosh is healthy and helping. Bosh is averaging a career playoff low 13.2 ppg, but that means nothing to him within the context of his and his team’s ambitions.

“I’m here to play a specific role and be what this team needs me to be,” Bosh said after the semifinals ouster of Chicago. “I’m not trying to have a big head, get to an ego problem, then think I’m too big for my britches and not want to change my role.”

Just playing, period, is important. He wasn’t too comfortable watching Miami slip behind 2-1 in games and 54-46 halfway through Game 4.

This time will be different, Bosh said. “I was really looking forward to that series and I didn’t get a chance to play. Hopefully this time around I can stay healthy, first of all, and put my imprint on the series like I wanted to last year. That’s why you stay patient and wait. I’ll get my chance, they’ll get their chance and everybody will be happy.”

Well, not everybody.

* Road woes: The Pacers had battled Chicago before losing in the first round in 2011, then they thumped Orlando to earn the series with Miami last spring. But they hardly were a crew of crusty playoff veterans and it showed in some of their numbers.

Indiana shot 37.1 percent in the series’ three road games compared to 44.4 percent at home. The Pacers went 24.5 percent from 3-point range vs. 39.6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The pattern held at the foul line as well: 71.8 percent away, 83.1 at home. The Pacers did shoot more free throws in the road games (26.0 to 23.7), though.

Their stats in those categories this season didn’t show nearly the same spread, but Indiana still is a better team at home (30-11 and 6-0 in the playoffs) than away (19-21 and 2-4). The Pacers won Game 2 last year by limiting the Heat to 1-for-16 from the arc and holding anyone besides James and Wade to a max of five points.

Miami, as you might expect of a playoff-tested team heading to its second straight Finals a year ago, was more consistent. The Heat shot 46.2/30.8/74.2 on the road to 45.0/26.3/71.9 at home.

* Lance Stephenson vs. Danny Granger: Actually, to gauge Stephenson’s growing impact, one has to look at Stephenson plus Paul George‘s development and compare it to George last year with Granger available. Last spring, Granger and George felt the wrath of Miami’s defense and averaged a combined 23.3 points, a drop of 7.4 ppg from their regular season work. Granger was gimpy and shot 37.6 percent while George looked overwhelmed and was at 36.5.

Through two rounds this spring, George – the NBA’s Most Improved Player – and Stephenson have boosted their combined output to 28.9 ppg, up from 26.2 in the regular season. Of course, Atlanta and New York, Indiana’s two opponents so far, aren’t Miami, defensively.

* Third quarters matter: In its two victories last time, Indiana outscored Miami in the third quarters, 54-26. In Game 4, they were up 61-51 early in the third until the Heat snatched the quarter, the game and the series. The Pacers got outscored 30-16, shot 6-for-18 and had no answers for James and Wade, who romped to 14 points each in the period.

So, for nearly 72 hours from the end of Game 3 to the middle of Game 4, the series looked to be Indiana’s to win. The Pacers had outscored the Heat to that point 312-291 overall. The rest of the way? Miami outscored Indiana 275-215.

* Watch Wade: Wade is the ailing Miami star of the moment, the pain and limitations of his right knee coming and going as if on a whim. His miserable Game 2 last spring — 2-for-13 shooting, just five points, five turnovers and one assist — was due in part to troubles with his other knee. But he also sought out guidance from Indiana coach Tom Crean, who had coached him at Marquette. He came alive in the middle of Game 4, combining with James for 38 consecutive Miami points and straightening out a 1-for-8 start by going 12-for-15 the rest of the way. He scored 28 points in Game 5 and had 41 points and 10 rebounds in Game 6.

Wade has adapted to his various ailments, including his balky knee this season. He had a consultation with Crean again in the Chicago round. Now he is more apt to seize a game in spurts as he is to control it tip to horn. Some of that went on last spring: Wade averaged 15.0 points while shooting 53.1 percent in the second halves of the six games, compared to 11.2 ppg on 40.7 percent shooting in first halves.

76 Comments

  1. Jun says:

    Sam, realy is actually spelled “really” …so don’t be hard on the one who said HEATS, look in the mirror first..ok?

  2. Kevo says:

    Roy Hibbert > BIrdbrain

  3. JLL says:

    HEAT in 6!!!!!!!

  4. maxout34 says:

    Should be a great series, I like the Pacers in seven.

  5. maxout34 says:

    Should be a tightly contested and grueling series with the Pacers surprisingly winning in seven.

  6. LBJ to the death says:

    What people are continuing to ignore is that the Pacers are a horrendous away team. Both regular season and playoffs. They got road wins off sporadic teams in the Hawks and Knicks. It will not be the same for the Heat. Itll be murder tonight and maybe similiar story in game 2. Down 0-2 i doubt this Pacers team will rise to the challenge. Paul George is still a young, and makes questionable decision making especially his chucking from three. Lance Stephenson is most defintely a quesion mark. Miami’s quick rotation will give Hibbert Nightmares.

    Honestly ill be dissappointed if this series goes to six games. This close to the finals Heat should be on point. There is no reason as to why they should not sweep the Pacers but I love Paul George and hope he has a breakout game so..

    Heat in 5.

  7. theholyspecatator says:

    who has a higher shot at winning on the opponents home floor? yeah, miami in 6

  8. dee dudnath says:

    This is gonna be a good series but, when Miami’s in playoff mode there’s literally no stopping them. Chicago had the best of them all season, that series ended in 5 games and Miami beat them by 40 one game. This team may be young but LeBrons gonna be in game mode to reach the finals and nothings stopping him from getting there. Miami in 6 at most

  9. jay ray says:

    This is certainly a great match up. Both teams have matured during this season. Indiana is surely playing much better ball, with the good play of Hibbert.
    Miami has certainly added key peices, in allen and bird man, and rashard lewis. AND with the emergence of norris Cole and great play of Chalmers.
    The heat have one weakness. .. anyone know?
    Size. The struggle mightily against bigger teams and have trouble rebounding. (Hence) picking up bird man.
    Battle of the boards will be huge for both teams.
    Indy has several weaknesses. .. one primarily, is their turnovers…
    Miami is the best in the game with turning t.o. into points. No one is faster than lbj on the pacers. Miami loves to get out and run.
    Miami has that poise, champion ship caliber, and knows what it takes to win… pacerd are still learning how to put multiple wins together in the post season. Just like they should have closed out the knicks but didn’t, let them hang around and steal a game, same with atl. Should have closed them out, but failed. Indy isnt ready to win it all. They’re still learning.
    Heat will win.

  10. Heatr#1 says:

    Don’t forget that Miami won last year against the pacers so why can’t they do it again
    O in yo face Miami haters.

  11. Jim says:

    Miami is the top team in the league but will have a tough time with Indiana’s front line.
    Hibert will slow down james and wade drives to the rim. Hes the best rim protector since Mutombo. If George caused Anthony so many problems with his D I think he will cause James problems. I will go out on a limb and say Indiana over Miami and the spurs over Indiana.

  12. Let's go Heat! says:

    1) In the beginning of a game, LBJ sld post up Paul George, draw contact and get Paul in foul trouble asap. When double team LBJ, outside shooting threat from Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and Mario.
    2) Roy may have inside advantage. But I think Birdman, double team and Heat’s group defence can contain Roy. And Pacers are not a top offensive or shooting team.
    3) I guess no one will deny that Heat’s bench players are MUCH MUCH better than Pacers. Unless Pacers starters can play 48mins in every game!

    Heat in 6.

  13. Can the Pacers beat the Heat? If these 3 things happen I think they can:

    http://3andd.com/2013/05/21/3-steps-that-lead-to-pacers-beating-heat/

  14. James says:

    Well well well… I do think it’ll be tougher for Miami especially with the emergence of Lance Stephenson. But I’ll still be going with Miami because no matter who is showing up, the KING will always be the KING!!!! And for me, the X-Factors for this series will be UD, Birdman and Norris Cole….. Go Miami!!!!

  15. Bryle says:

    Gonna be a hard fought series. Still, it’s gonna be the heat in six. Lebron is gonna go Ape on Indiana!

  16. JAY-BALLA says:

    Lets not get too ahead of ourselves people, the Pacers are just trying to play “tough guy ball” once again like they did last year which lead to a lose. They will pound the heat as much as they can and test them, but at the end of day Heat will overcome the Pacers and win. I mean lets get things straight, Heat have had no injuries whatsoever this season except for D-Wade’s knee issues which is not a big deal. Overall Heat are just more experienced and healthy and Pacers are going to be in for a balttle.

  17. Dennis says:

    Pound for pound MIAMI IS A BATTER!!!!! team.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Vanessa says:

    Heat in 5!!!! Bosh will step up because he wants to make up for last year!!1 This series will be offense vs defense. Go Heat!!!!

  19. Pouchon5 says:

    Pacers in 6 baby. Get ready for the ground and pound. Hibbert is ready for revenge this year.

  20. miami in 5 pacers dont have what it takes to take miami for 48mins lets be real miami has taken teams to overtime and play like the game just started to good to deep to amazing win or go home pacers go home in 5 ill give them 1

  21. quan says:

    joseph03 u drunk boy

  22. Morito says:

    Heat in 3… LOL

  23. Joseph_03 says:

    Well the Heat should win this hands down. Maybe in 5 or 6, but 7 is not really unbelievable. The thing is with this Pacer squad is that it is a better defensive unit now than it was a year ago, less Granger they became more balanced as a team.

    The biggest reason the Pacers might even pose a chance is if Hibbert comes in and plays like some of those games he played against the Knicks. Bosh, Anthony nor Birdman are not big enough or skilled enough to stop him. LBJ will be his usual self, but with Wade limping and Bosh having more than a handful from the Pacers frontline then the Pacers might pull of an upset.

    • theholyspecatator says:

      knicks had nothing for hibert, thats why he was able to do what he did…two really good defensive teams but one of the teams is just as good even better on offense, pacer wont win the series…no one has beat miami this whole year 4 games repeatedly…whats crazy is miami actually plays better when they are down, so its a lose lose for pacers, pacers can tie it up in miami head back to indy but then get slaughtered cuz thats who miami is…and now that they finished that bulls series thats gonna get them really preparred for this series..miami knows whats at stake here..indy doesnt have anything to lose…i say indy wins 1 maybe 2 games, no way this thing is going to a 7 game series..and even if it does we all know miami will win it on their home floor. at the end of the day indy just doesnt come out winning, to beat a team like miami you need amazing superstars..which indy doesnt have…their bench is weak..ive yet to hear a logical argument for indy to take this..

  24. DONTBERACIST says:

    MIAMI WILL WALIS THIS PACERS…

  25. Iaminnocent says:

    Tell me about something about LEBRICK JAMESON, DWAYNE JOHNSON WADE and CHRIS TUCKER BOSH???? Feel free to write here.hehehehehehehe

  26. duncan21 forever says:

    go spurs go!

  27. Don't give a fuk says:

    really hope miami sweeps them!

  28. Lk20z3 says:

    Heat in 4

  29. Heatcago Balls says:

    Indiana Pacers will be tougher this time around but the Heat will roast these horse pacers, grilled in charcoal.

  30. bryce says:

    Miami is a different team this year. Additions of allen and birdman and a healthy bosh gives wade relief from having to score and play stupid minutes. Norris Cole has made huge strides this year both offensivly with his shot and has really become the unselfish player miami needs him to be. Not to mention hes a quick strong defender. Honestly though, indiana this year would beat last years miami team. They were too one dimentional last year.

  31. Saied says:

    Heat is a bettr team and should win the series. The only problem is Wade ! He has not performed well during the last couple of months He should step up an d help the team.

  32. Just_Cant_wait says:

    Woooowww, you guys should see me shivering awaiting the Whistle to start the jump ball, goose bumps everywhere, cant wait for Miami to take this one, AND PLEASE this time take the first game for christs sake, dont wait for your enemies to land the first punch, PROTECT Home Court. VERY IMPORTANT. Am all over it tommorw nite, or should I say Thursday Morning in Europe Germany. lol.

  33. Regardless says:

    To me, Pacers do have more physical power and agility in the pace as the coach set forth Stevenson, West and George simultaneous. But when considering three pointers, Heat have more guns than Pacers, indeed. Wade must come forward and take more responsibilities than before in this match-up if the Heat are willing to advance to the finals. That is to say, it will be (a) splendid 7-game-series tough Pacers will close the series in 6 games up.

  34. Bird33 says:

    If you have to pretend the other coach said something bad about your team just to get up for the series, then you don’t have what it takes to win this year. No heart, no drive = no repeat

    Pacers in 6

  35. Heat 3:1:6 says:

    HEAT sweeps the Pacers 4-0… It’s really happening this time around. \m/

  36. ThePurge says:

    Miami will need to have one of three things going in games to win. A combo of lebron battier and allen, lebron bosh and wade, or good defense and all around great performance from the whole team.

  37. Leon says:

    Pacers win in 7

  38. joseph karlo says:

    MIAMI!

  39. blackmamba38 says:

    as i have known pacers are not as aggressive as bulls… in terms of body size they are not as solid as heat… most of the heat players are 3-pointers… if pacers will have a 100% shooting goals then possibly they will win… i still do believe that the
    heat will again get the championship this year… lets find it out

  40. NBAfan1989 says:

    Miami all the way ! .. no matter who the opponent will be, they will be ready to any challenges that will come to them. Bring it on !

  41. Go Pacers!!!
    Go Get It!!!

  42. omar says:

    heat in 5

  43. Pinoy says:

    stfu pacers will win this series

  44. J says:

    heat in 6!!!!!!!!

  45. Tyrone says:

    IMO Pacers have no hope whatsoever of winning the series BUT they can win two games at the most

  46. D. Strong says:

    Pacers in 7!

  47. not a kobe fan either says:

    miami will win this series because indiana will get all the bad calls. just observe and get your popcorn ready.

  48. qwinki says:

    Heat in five, six at the most!

  49. gerald29 says:

    very simple,,, last series no cris bosh …now a healthy bosh with addition of rayray and birdman….pacers have the same line up,,heat in 5 baby..

  50. Proud to be Pinoy says:

    Let”s Go Heat!

  51. lakers fan says:

    LET’S GO HEAT…..WHAT ELSE CAN YOU SAY ABOUT MIAMI????

    • JKey says:

      Lots of things you can say about the Heat, including that they will repeat again, unfortunately (because I’m not a fan of them and would rather see the Spurs win it).

  52. Filipino Idiot says:

    This is the first time that the east got interesting on this 2013 playoffs.

    This series will depend on the Pacers bigs, Hibbert and West. If Hibbert continues to show his dominance in the paint, Bosh, Bird man and Anthony will not be able to contain him.

    • none ya says:

      but bird man would dominate hibbert on his own and with the help of Lebron i really dont think he will be able to dominate home or away.

    • jose says:

      Hibbert has to come out the paint , chasing after Bosh….otherwiswe , Bosh is going to have an explendid shooting perfomance.
      And ,then ,with Hibbert out of sight, you know who are storming the inside slaming the boards : The Dobbermans LBJ and DW…..so ,as LBJ has said : You have to pick your own poisson….

      Lets not forget about Ray Ray and batier and Cole and Chalmer and Miller and Lewis from outside…….
      Heat sweeps……

  53. Juan says:

    Pacers in 6

  54. FakeHornetsFan says:

    heat will lose the title this year! oh yeah!

  55. MH says:

    Although we have two of the same teams competing – it’s a completly different match up. True. Both teams have changed and both have gotten better. However, the Heat have all their significant players alongside newer ones in the line up this time and therefore are the better team that will come up top. How they split the regular season games bars no importants. In the playoffs you win or go home. And the Heat are only going home with the trophy… Heat in 6!

  56. Papa Pang says:

    I love the heats. It’s all about basketball

  57. theholyspectator says:

    4-2 miami….then 4-2 or 4-3 mami against memphis for the nba title…miami heat repeat season in effect

  58. EyronFigures says:

    YEAH! u r ryt pops!hehehe..excited to watch this series.. i hpe miami wins!

  59. The Heat & Pacers going face to face is going to be hard game