Miami Shooters Coming Up Empty

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MIAMI – There was some talk after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals about the Indiana Pacers being more of a team than the Miami Heat, because they have five guys who contribute and can come up with a big game on any given night, while the champs have three stars who carry the bulk of the load.

Now, that’s mostly a bunch of nonsense. All five Indiana starters have scored at least 25 points in a game in this postseason, but Miami didn’t win a title last year without significant contributions from multiple players beyond LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The problem is that the Heat aren’t getting those contributions right now, and they aren’t getting back to The Finals if they don’t get production out of their role players against the Pacers.

We’ve seen this before, and it wasn’t that long ago. The New York Knicks’ role players all seemed to disappear in the conference semifinals. Carmelo Anthony got his 28.5 points per game, but nobody else could really get open and the league’s third-best offense was held to barely a point per possession over six games.

The Miami offense, which ranked No. 1 in the regular season and through the first two rounds of the playoffs, hasn’t been nearly that bad, but the Pacers are basically doing the same thing. James is getting his, but the offense isn’t running at full capacity, because other guys aren’t getting open.

This is what the Pacers do. They let Paul George guard the opponent’s best player by himself, they defend pick-and-rolls with just the two guys involved, they don’t over-help, and they stay at home on shooters. They had quite a few pick-and-roll breakdowns in Game 1, but didn’t make any real adjustments in Game 2. They stayed true to their defensive system, did what they do better, and continued to keep Miami’s 3-point shooting in check.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wants his shooters hunting down shots, and James said after Game 2 that it’s on him, Wade and Bosh to get the shooters involved.

“We have to figure out how to get them some shots early in the game,” James said, “where they feel like they’re part of the offense. That has to come from me, come from D-Wade, come from CB. We’re the three guys that have the ball in our hands a lot.”

But that’s a lot easier said than done against this opponent. Indiana ranked No. 1 in 3-point defense in the regular season and they’ve held the Heat to 12-for-40 (30 percent) from beyond the arc through the first two games of this series.

Seven of those 12 threes have come from James (five) and Bosh (two). The Heat’s role players are a combined 5-for-21 (24 percent) from 3-point range. With Wade far from 100 percent, the shooting problems are all the more painful.

Spoelstra also said that he cares more about how many threes Shane Battier and Ray Allen take than how many they make. But with both shooting poorly, he called on Mike Miller in the second quarter of Game 2. Miller drained a three at the halftime buzzer, but didn’t see the floor after that.

Maybe we’ll see more of Miller as the series moves to Indiana. Battier’s and Allen’s struggles go beyond this series. Battier has shot 12-for-52 (23 percent) from 3-point range in the playoffs, while Allen is 5-for-23 (22 percent) since the start of the conference semifinals.

Rewind to last year though. Through the first three games of the conference semifinals against the Pacers, Miami was shooting a brutal 5-for-42 (12 percent) from 3-point range. They recovered, shot 21-for-48 (44 percent) the rest of the series, and then Battier went off (15-for-26) in The Finals.

A similar turnaround in this series would give the Heat a chance to play for their second straight championship. But this Indiana defense is much better than last year’s. George is improved, Roy Hibbert is more of a presence inside, and their pick-and-roll defense is different. They ranked just 16th in 3-point defense last season.

While this series has been physical and points in the paint are always critical, it may be the points from outside that determine the winner.

81 Comments

  1. Heatles Read Chris's FACE. says:

    Whoever these people that are reviewing comments why the hell aren’t my comments ever posted, I follow the rules and out of 5 posts I haven’t seen one of my posts been put up yet. Screw whoever isn’t doing their job, hope you get fired.

  2. Daryle says:

    Why is it that the heat win and the refs gave it to the heat while each of the first two games even my wife can see they have been calling in favor of the Pacers this series so lets think about this when the heat win everyone blames the refs giving them the game pacers only went to OT and had the lead in OT due to bad calls and then in game to they came back with Hibbert guarding the paint but he should have fouled out but got away with 2 fouls that even the announcers during the game made comments so everyone blames the refs for helping the heat but that is not the case this series and no one is complaining about the refs here because they are all just a bunch a haters and Heat fans are just not worried we know with or with our the refs calling it fair the Pacers lose this series

  3. Ricz says:

    Tons of bandwagon fans and haters here ;c
    I’m not a fans of pacers nor heat but pacer vs heat are one of the best match up that I’ve ever watch
    I wanted to see granger on the line up though

    Two games are so close … unlike spurs vs memphis ;c

    Game 3 and 4 will be the deciding factor
    If miami can steal one from indiana then…. it’s miami who will be going on the finals ;c

  4. jj tomb says:

    SPO..HERE IS FREE ADVICE, WHY DON’T YOU START JONES/LEWIS AND HAVE ALLEN/SHANE COME OF THE BENCH. ALSO SIT WADE’S ACE DOWN FOR MAKING DUMB PLAYS. FEEL FREE TO MAIL MY CONSULTANT RING :)

  5. Dela cruz#36 says:

    4-1 HEAT! Stop this nonsense… Cheers!!

  6. kenny b says:

    All u heat haters are way overreactin, last year packers were up 2-1 with Miami strong. People forgetin wades knee is no where near great so hes not playing full strength while 3 point shooting isn’t goin good imagine when that changes don’t worry about the heat they’ll be fine

  7. Tyrone says:

    Imagine how good the Pacers will be after trading Granger for someone they need….

    The Pacers are an overall better team than the Heat, but with Lebron, the Heat always have a shot at winning any given game.

  8. Beverly says:

    THEY WILL PULL IT TOGETHER AND GET THE JOB DONE.
    It is competition like this that makes the NBA a whole lot of money!!!!!!!!!!!

    Gooooo Heat.

    Lots of Love,
    MsBevBlack

  9. Dave says:

    What miami is really scared of is how easily George gets around Lebron when he needs to, and how difficult it is for Lebron to get around George when he needs to. I’ve never seen Lebron struggle against one person like this. Paul George is a stud.

  10. theholyspecatator says:

    i really hope them outside shooters (battier/allen/cole) are not going into a cold streak…like how the knicks did, and its the worse time to do so…this is ECF man a few games away from the finals..these guys have been in the league for a while, played enough games…they gotta get goin early..that way they got the confidence to knock em down late in the game…wade needs to drop 30 tonight…and bosh needs 10-15 boards..

  11. Anonymous says:

    I can see the pacers losing this year, but next year w/ Granger, they will be more of a force

  12. Art says:

    Could anybody explain why World Peace has been suspended for 7 games for an elbow and Wade not suspended at all? Because he was not looking at Stephensons face as he hit him? But Metta didn’t see Hardens face either.
    Pacers players should be ready for dirty plays and stay calm. They can’t do anything to stop double standard. Just play hard.

  13. Neutral says:

    Yea rashard is ready i think to make an impact. He proved it during the regular series. Plus he has the body and capability to get the rebounds, to make the 3s and post up

  14. nba fan says:

    I think Heat will still win this series in 6……maybe….maybe :-)

  15. King James says:

    I think rashard and James Jones need a bigger spot in the rotation if they wanna get some 3s to fall. James Jones won the 3 point contest a couple of years ago. And rashard used to be very good at the three ball.

  16. ttam says:

    GO PACERS… PACERS W4 -L1 …
    KEEP AN EYE ON THE ## 24 PAUL GEORGEC..
    KOBE BRYANT IN THE MAKING..

    • Kei says:

      I damn sure hope he’s not turning into Ko”me” Bryant. If he turns out to be LBJ, he’ll be fine.

  17. germany says:

    @Game Time – You are absoulutlly right…………

  18. JOSE says:

    There is alot guys in maimi that does the only way they gona get a ring, lewis,battier,anderson,tracy. and a few more they now they had to join the heat cause other wise they were gona retired with no ring does a nice way to get a ring sitting on the bench!!! ha,ha,ha

  19. MiamiChamps says:

    Here comes the Miami Heat and Lebron James haters! come on guys! until when your gonna hate them? Lebron James has proven to have a championship and still your hating him and his team? come on guys! They will repeat as champs this year! Mark my words! :)

  20. MartinfromAustria says:

    IT MAY SEEM LIKE A LONG SHOT NOW, BUT I STILL BELIEVE IN THE MIAMI HEAT, GOTTA KEEP THE FAITH UP, LET’S GO MIAMI HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Alphacuz says:

    Hibbert is key for the pacers, everyone knows that Bosh is a weak low post player and cant handle the rough stuff. Bosh will just do jumpers, Lebron will try and do it all to get the win which is what he does, but cant blame him to much if the rest of the Heat aint doing jack. Pacer could be up 2-0, now with home court advantage it could go to 6-7 games.

  22. J says:

    heat keys to win:
    shoot 3s well
    force turnovers
    get wade going
    get bosh going
    get bench going
    get to line
    make free throws
    no silly fouls
    no silly turnovers

    sounds like alot but thats nothing for the best team in nba go heat!
    the heat will win the nba championship.

  23. xyz says:

    I’m a Miami heat fan, but I think this will be a grueling 7 game series. Indiana’s playing very well and making life tough for Miami’s shooters. Miami needs to get Wade and at least one of their 3-point shooters going, otherwise Lebron (great as he is) can’t win the series by himself. Chalmers, Battier and Allen (except 2 good games in the Milwaukee series) have played poorly during the playoffs and need to start knocking down shots, while Wade, even though injured, should take a page out of Kobe Bryant’s book and play his heart out despite his sore knees.

  24. Art says:

    Indiana vs San Antonio is a dream final for everybody who loves basketball.
    Both teams are much more respected than artificial Heat who can’t win any series without refs help.

  25. Jenova says:

    MIAMI FANATICS!!! HOW DUMB… Can’t you the size advantage of the pacers??? lebron is in fact in a nervous breakdown right now… george at 6’10 guards lebron very well… game 6 pacers win series

  26. Big Al says:

    @ Community Award: Are you serious? Do you expect the whole of NBA to drop everything and help Oklahoma victims? Get real. While it’s unfortunate for those who lost their homes and some family members back there, the world needs to go on. The championship is nothing to take for granted. Miami are in a crisis barely winning Game 1 and losing the next against a team they should easily be beating, so it’s natural for them to be concerned.

  27. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    Besides Allen & Battier not shooting as well as they normally do… I think another Major reason the Heat are struggling is the fact that Dwyane Wade is not himself at all!!! Wade might be able to get away with a poor performance vs Milwaukee or even Chicago, but Indiana is no joke. Last year wade averaged almost 30ppg vs Indiana, one game wade even scored 41points vs the pacers… on Friday he had 14points … if wade doesn’t start playing like himself then this series is over .. one of the biggest upsets in nba history.. What a boring finals that would be – Indiana vs San Antonio …. LeBron is doing all he can do, he had 36 points and they still lost … Wade & Bosh … WAKE UP !!!!!!!

  28. Aaron Flores says:

    To win Game 3…
    Pressure George Hill and DJ
    Box out Roy Hibbert, David West, and Tyler.
    Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and Mario Chalmers needs to hit those 3′s
    Build a lead
    Dwyane Wade needs to score in the post or score at the rim
    Cut down turnovers
    Stay out of foul trouble
    Chris Bosh hitting outside shots so Roy can stay away from the paint

  29. Neutral says:

    Game 1 could have slip away from miami. Game 2 slip away. Pacers is really tough. But miami will adjust. Home court doesnt matter miami. They play better away from home.

  30. Celts 13 says:

    It looked like Miller hurt his back again after his halftime buzzer beater tre. Rashard Lewis and James Jones should get time on the court, they are both excellent 3 pt shooters.

    Imo, Hibbert and West are a bigger problem for Miami than 3 pt shooting. Those two seem to be able to get almost any shot they want because of their size and power.

  31. 3ptdagger says:

    The Heat should acquire D Rose nobody in Chicago wants him now anyway. Wade is too hurt or getting too old to play well hurt and it’s looking grim for Miami. Lebron is still best player but he can’t play 1 on 5

  32. Dale Cooper says:

    That’s the thing…I keep thinking, with these games so close it’s not going to be good for the Pacers once Allen and Battier start hitting…but they simply aren’t getting clean looks because the Pacer defense is so good.

    Whoever wins, I just hope it goes to seven, and the remaining games are like the first two. What a series.

  33. ratamus says:

    all the complaining about the refs and the heat had more than the pacers in game 2.is that what the fans are all about, double standards? be a fan of the sport as well as the team. give it up already.

  34. Sandy says:

    Go Pacers. Knock down the Heat who think they are better than anyone else! Big 3 Ha! Pacers, Great Team who shares the ball and doesn’t act like the Big 3. That’ how you win games………. GO!

    • King James says:

      Man, please shut up. Everyone knows that your just a king James hater that roots for every team that goes against them.

  35. AL says:

    Mike Miller was briefly brought in, maybe it is time to give Rashard Lewis a chance as well. Not only he is a consistent 3-point shooter, he is better suited to guard West because of his size, something to consider coach. what is the point of having such a deep bench if they are only spectators. we all saw how well he played at the end of the regular season when the stars were resting.

  36. AKA says:

    We all know the Heat are going to win the series and all the babies will come on here crying about the refs lmao, they will then proceed to hop on the wagon of which ever team represents the west, the cycle continues.

  37. AKA says:

    We all know the Heat are going to win the series and all the babies will come on her crying about the refs lmao, they will then proceed to hop on the wagon of which ever team represents the west, the cycle continues.

  38. elite says:

    lol who else thought miami shooters coming up empty meant some ppl tried to shoot ppl in miami and didnt get anyone

  39. AL says:

    forget 3-point shooting ,the heat could have won this by better free throw shooting. 75 to 80% would have got the job done.

  40. da truth says:

    Heat 4-2 MARK MY WORDS

  41. Ssssssssss says:

    Look at the problems the Pacers are giving to this so called ‘best team evahhhhhhh!!1!!1. And given the fact that Danny Granger is not playing for the Pacers right now, it’s safe to say that this Pacer team will is a force to be reckoned with when healthy next season.

  42. PutYourNameOnIt says:

    chance to play in third straight…. =/ these writers can’t even get simple facts right

  43. Saeed says:

    Miami is not going to win this series because Pacers are a balanced team, they have solved the Knicks easily by locked-in defense on Carmelo Anthony and Raymon Felton didn’t show what he had during the Celtics series. But the main reason of the Knicks’ elimination at Eastern semis was the story of Chandler’s fierce struggle against Hibbert on the offensive boards (If I were Coach Woodson, I would definitely seat Chandler all series!!! and intermittently put Kenyon Martin and Amoure on Hibbert for the whole series. I saw some plays that Bosh outplayed Hibbert in Game 1 and I think the story is to Bosh step up and outrebound the Pacers’ center just like he did in Game 2 of last year’s finals (16 rebounds, with 7 offensive) against the bulk and size of Ibaka and Perkins.

  44. W/E says:

    Whats wrong with Ray Allen, the guy cant hit anything, i guess its time for him to retire, seems like old age affects three point shooting as well.

  45. habitusforknicks says:

    It is a good article. However, it is not clear from the article which factor that contributes to Miami’s poor 3-point shooting. The article argues that Indiana is very good at defending the 3-ball and than gives the information about cold-streak of miami’s 3-point shooters for the whole playoffs beyond the indiana series.

  46. This is the main reason the Heat is struggling in this series. The Pacers are doing an unbelievable job of closing out the perimeter and not allowing shooters to get it going when LeBron and Wade kick it out to the perimeter.

  47. Fuuu says:

    Defence wins championship but with at least solid ofence. If miami doesnt find shooter’s they can say ring goodbye, and the Pacers also because they wont shut down the Spurs.

    If Pacers reach the Finals, Duncan & Pop will get their 5th. Soo Sad the Knicks enters the playoof’s with Jr, Melo and Kidd in a slump otherwise i think the Finals would be Spurs – Knicks, Pacers , Miami and Memphis just cant keap up with their offence when healthy

  48. …Do you know what I mean? Hibbert 40 points?

    Come on!

  49. I agree Heat shooters are not playing their best But give credit tio Indiana. They are moving very fast the ball, focus, a unite team.

    I guess Miami will have to let intern team problems away now and get into the court and win.

    Indiana knows very well how to open the court to let the open player. The y are fast and young. Anyway I still think that INDIANA IS PLAYING TO THE EDGE IN DEFENSE.

  50. alfred says:

    exactly the heat cant match up in the paint on defense against big tree roy hibbert so the pacers win automatically and the heat need a big man bosh is the fakest big man there is… however if the 3s open up for the heat and heat catch fire is over for the pacers, the heat gotta catch fire though and shoot the 3

  51. Game TIme says:

    Miami shooters are not moving around enough. James and Wade go into iso and everyone is just standing there. No cuts being made. They even let Ray Allen iso for crying out loud. Also I don’t understand why Mike Miller didn’t play even five more minutes. He hits his only shot and plays 3 mins, but Battier is bricking his and they leave him in. I know it creates mismatches, but if you have a guy hitting 3s it will make up for it.

  52. sanjay says:

    rashard, miller and joel needs to be involved. Heat has to go back last years formula to win this series. They have to go on fast break and wade has to do more, attack the paint more and get to the fall line! The 3 point needs to start to fall period.
    indina have chinks in their armor and head needs to exploit it to win the series!

  53. Patty says:

    I KNOW SOME OF THE MEDIA WANTS TO SAY LEBRON JAMES IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD BUT I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SAYING THAT.

    GO PACERS!!!

    • Francisco says:

      after this year, no doubt JAMES is the BEST of the decade….He is a champion and NUMBERS DO NOT LIE

  54. theholyspecatator says:

    gotta give huge props to indy man, they could easily be up 2-0 right now..this series is no question going to a 7 games..this is gonna require the entire miami heat team to play perfect basketball to beat pacers, and spurs as well…this is def gonna be a struggle to repeat, but if anyone can do it…its miami…

    • E.C. says:

      Both teams deserve recognition because just as easily as the Pacers could be up 2-0 so could the heat yet they found a way to split it.

    • dustin says:

      Lol. There shouldnt have even been an overtime, if spo had just had his players foul b4 that lucky 3 itd been over right then an there. Duh.

  55. Community Award says:

    What does NBA players do to the community when it needs it most? Focus on the finals and forget everything else. Not Tony Allen. There are dead ppl, dying ppl, and ppl who need help after the OKC Tornado. The Heat players are deeply disappointed and sad…that they lost the game, what about tonado? What tornado?

  56. HT- Heat fan says:

    Heat lost one game and so much chatter about what they are not doing al right and how they are going down. Heat is the best team and and they wont go down this easily. Want proof? Wait for game 3.

    • Pamela says:

      They have only won one game, but they almost won Game 1, so I think it’s reasonable to give them a shot.

      • realist says:

        u r right. heat got lucky to win that game at the end. pacers should be up 2-0. they made a mistake and it wont happen again. i have never seen wade bosh and lebron so unsure of themselves when they r shooting. this reminds me of when the pistons stomped the lakers dream team in the finals. lakers were completely lost the whole series and got lucky to win one game at the end of the game. also, when they played my dallas mavericks. pacers r too smart and too tough for miami. the only way miami wins is from great shooting on the floor, and lets be honest, most of their. points come from in the paint. take that away and look at them. i knew pacers had the best shot against miami and they r proving me right. they keep playing the way they played the last 2 games and they will not lose again to miami. also, the only reason miami got past bulls in 5 was because of the refs favoring miami every game and the bulls let that get to them. miami was exposed against a undermanned and under talented team and now they have met a really good team. its on.

  57. Gerald says:

    Go PACERS!.. Beat the HEAT

  58. Ralph says:

    Go Pacers!