24-Second Thoughts — May 18

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com

VIDEO: The Czar explains the Hibbert Effect on the telestrator

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Look who’s back in the crosshairs.

Guess who’s back in the mix.

That’s right, it’s Big Roy Hibbert.

The Indiana Pacers’ center of attention, in every way imaginable, is front and center today in Game 1 of the long-awaited Eastern Conference finals rematch against the Miami Heat.

I don’t care about the analytics, the history or anything else.

I need to see Hibbert dominate in this series. The Pacers have to demand it if they’re going to make the home-court advantage they worked for all season mean anything.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will do what they do. Chris Bosh, too. Paul George, David West and Lance Stephenson will have their say. But these eyes are locked in on Hibbert. I need to know early if he’s going to be the game changer he’s supposed to be in this series.

(And while I hated to see Mark Jackson ousted the way he was at Golden State, I’m not complaining about having him back on the ABC broadcasting team for this series with Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen.)

Go Hibbert Pacers or go home …

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24 — There’s no denying Hibbert’s presence on the floor against the small-ball Heat. He’s established post position twice on Bosh and been a factor on that end early on. No matter how poorly he’s played in recent weeks, this was the series he was made for.

23 — The Pacers are in all-or-nothing mode early.

The Heat came in focused and determined not to look beyond these first 48 (or more) minutes.

22 — From the Miami Heat Matchup Nightmare Department …

21 — Best first quarter for the Pacers in these playoffs. Plenty of Hibbert. George aggressive and attacking on both ends. George Hill in rhythm.

20 — Pacers shooting the cover off the ball (6-for-7 from deep right now). But what goes up, always comes down …

19 — You wonder what happens in the Eastern Conference finals when the best player from each team is on the bench for an extended stretch … then Dwyane Wade and Lance Stephenson break out and play one-on-one!

18 — Pacers putting on an absolute showcase of shooting, inside and out!

17 — Gary Payton had a point. This is not the NBA some of us grew up on.

16 — Lance playing “bully ball” with LeBron on him. You know he’ll be talking about that one later, win or lose. #BornReady

15 — Pacers in control through the first two quarters. Executing on offense. Grinding on defense. Playing like the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference (finally) …

14 — #motivation #stylesmakefights

13 — Woulda, coulda, shoulda!

VIDEO: LeBron James sits down with Rachel Nichols

12 — One of the things I love about Erik Spoelstra is his flexible nature. He’s never been afraid to try something (or someone) different when a change is clearly needed.

And with the way the Heat are defending, he needs to try something or someone new.

11 — I didn’t realize PGeorge’s defensive prowess was in question …

10 — We who? The best of the best will make The Finals. #noexcuses

9 — There is a first time for everything, as the Pacers have shown us repeatedly throughout this postseason.

8 — First it was Andrew Bynum starring in the role of the Brady Bunch tiki idol. Now it’s Evan Turner

7 — It doesn’t take the bandwagon long to empty …

6 — Hockey goon move earns Chalmers a well-deserved Flagrant 1 for his shove of C.J. Watson, a frustration foul that warranted the extra penalty but not an ejection. Huge play with 9:22 to play. Pacers get three free throws and the possession and now lead 89-74 with 9:22 to play … until the Heat cut the lead back to 11 less than a minute later. #CodeRedPacers

5 — Cover your eyes Timberwolves fans, Kevin Love might break your hearts this summer

4 — It’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, Mr. Bosh!


3 — Pacers played the best game of possum I’ve seen in years. On the ropes after Game 1 in both of their opening round series of the playoffs. The Heat show up and they revert back to the 33-8 juggernaut we saw at the regular season’s midway point. Would the real Pacers please #StandUp!

2 — PGeorge doing the job defensively on LeBron. Best I’ve seen anyone guard him since … PGeorge in the EC finals last season. LeBron’s first points in the 4th come with 4:05 to play. Crazy!

But every game has its scapegoat. And his name is Chris Bosh.

1 — Heat facing an interesting dilemma now. The Big 3 history of resilience versus the reality that this Indiana team is built to beat them and, after one game, looked like they will do exactly that with home court on their side. Big Roy Hibbert played like BRH! (19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and one block and a factor all day long.) Sure, all they did was hold on to home court, for once. But first impressions, even if it is the third time around during this postseason, matter … (Pacers starters outscore Heat counterparts 94-70, btw).

VIDEO: CJ Watson and the Pacers took the Heat’s best shot and came out on top in Game 1 of the EC finals


  1. Banks says:

    I hate when people say its one game miami going to make adjustments and win but what about the adjustments Indiana is going to make also….neither teamnis going to come out with the same exact game plan…. #justsaying

  2. al rastafari says:

    people people people…di yute must rise above di poor defense fi cast di blanket o truth pon di land!!!

  3. Rykin says:

    Did anyone else notice that “The Czar” is a complete moron? He stated that Haslem shut down Dirk in 2011 and also that the Heat won the championship. Neither one of these things ever occurred.

  4. Zac says:

    Bosh will not shoot better if he has to defend Hibberts post-up. Just to energy left.

    • TMac says:

      I don’t like Bosh defending Hibbert.
      The only person I like defending Hibbert is Haslem because he has proven a few times that he can defend him. He is the only one that has had success in defending Hibbert’s post up…which is why I am confused at why Spo did not start him.

  5. DZAS says:

    Perfect game for Pacers but won’t happen again this series. Miami winning next game then taking 3-1 lead after 2 games in Miami. Unfortunatelly Heat in 6 ;/

    • phillyboy88 says:

      Please, you must be delusional. Keep hanging on to those dreams but I’m sorry…it won’t happen this year.

  6. iamironman says:

    Ugly game for the Heat. Smh

  7. Reggie says:

    One game people..one game..adjustments have to be made by Miami on the post ups and pick and rolls.

  8. TMac says:

    Still got Miami winning the series.
    Miami did play bad defense this game, but when they play bad, they normally come back with a vengeance the next game.
    I’m just confused on why why why why were they coming off their men on defense?? They weren’t just trying to collapse on Hibbert, but they were actually coming up high away from the paint leaving West or Hibbert free under the goal…or free enough to get under the goal. It was just crazy how the Heat left the Pacers wide open most of the game, so hopefully they clean that up.

  9. Greg Harlston says:

    What I don’t understand is why the Heat are collapsing on Roy Hibbert. Its not like he’s the second coming of Olajawon. If Roy Hibbert dominates the paint, then send some help side defender. But until then, everyone stay home on their own man. No need for people to get WIDE open looks on the first couple of possessions. Hit a couple of baskets and get their confidence up. Also Heat have to attack a shot blocker. Refs don’t give you the benefit of doubt when your timid.

  10. Once upon a time T-Mac says:

    I’m all for the Pacers, but c’mon people… Really? For God sake, this is just one single game, you can’t spend that much time around NBA and still make coments like this. We all know that Pacers can’t score like this all the time, we all know that Heat is not bad as they looked tonight. C’mon… we have a long series ahead of us. Stop making these fan-boy coments, be professional.

  11. William says:

    “You just awakened a sleeping giant.” Miami Heat Will Win. Lets Go Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Allen, Chalmers

  12. jimbo says:

    What…. Wades “balky hamstring” didn’t seem to bother him today ! I guess it just bothers him when he scores less than 15/ game.
    So the loss is all Bosh’s fault… go figure. Indiana had an extremely good shooting day, which they will not continue to do, so….their defense needs to clamp down on Miami in order to win 3 more. This could be a surprising series !

  13. en. says:

    Where’s all the labrumm riders

  14. mom says:

    I still got the Heat in 6!

  15. okcDoke2014 says:

    Alright Pacers, really good game